Story by Katie Neitz, photos by Bowen Hou ’21

What do you get when you combine elements of rugby, soccer, lacrosse, and dodgeball—with broomsticks?

Quidditch.

Once a fictional sport invented by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, quidditch is now a legit—and popular—club sport played on college campuses worldwide. It is a full-contact, co-ed sport in which two teams of seven players each must run and attempt to score points while mounted on a broomstick. Players, who are Chasers, Beaters, Keepers, or Seekers, use Quaffles (a volleyball), Bludgers (dodgeballs), and a Snitch (tennis ball) to accumulate points and ultimately beat their opponent. It’s a game of athleticism and strategy.

Will Pfadenhauer ‘20 joined Lafayette’s quidditch club in his first year on campus. Now he’s head coach and “speaking captain” (which means he’s allowed to communicate with referees).

“Quidditch is an amazing sport for two reasons,” Pfadenhauer says. “First, it’s built on the principle of inclusivity. Quidditch was created as a sport even before the You Can Play initiative, and it’s always been about making sure that anyone who wants to play has an opportunity to participate. One of the major rules is the ‘gender minimum’ rule, which requires that two people not of the majority gender identity are on the field at all times for all teams.”

“Secondly, anyone can be good at quidditch,” he says. “The sport is designed so that people with all different kinds of strengths—be that physical or mental—can productively contribute to their team’s success.”

Lafayette’s club recently competed against Kutztown University, Chestnut Hill College, and Penn State University in its first tournament of the season, the MarQUID de Lafayette tournament (see images below). Lafayette placed third. The team’s next tournament is Saturday at Chestnut Hill.

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