U’s Quidditch Team Takes Third in Tourney

(Photo Courtesy of Utah Quidditch)

(Photo Courtesy of Utah Quidditch)

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(Photo Courtesy of Utah Quidditch)
(Photo Courtesy of Utah Quidditch)

You don’t have to go to Hogwarts to be a Quidditch champion; you can join the U’s Crimson Elite.

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The only team of its kind at the U, Crimson Elite not only competed in the Western Region Championship — where they received the first bid to a World Cup tournament — but took third at said tournament.

Gina Allyn, a member of the team, said the win was a surprise.

“No one expected … Utah to go that far in the tournament and to upset amazing teams like UCLA and Arizona Quidditch Club,” Allyn said.

The game is adapted from the fictional Harry Potter book series with some adjustments for the non-magical participants. Allyn explained the sport is played full contact and co-ed. Instead of flying, team members run with PVC pipes between their legs to represent the broomsticks used in the novels.

“We less and less associate this sport with the fantasy story,” Allyn said. “I sometimes have to remind myself that this game was based on a Harry Potter sport.”

Quidditch matches are “strategic and bold,” Allyn said. Both teams begin by lining up by their hoops. When the referee start the match, the teams run for the balls; one quaffle, three bludgers and one snitch, which is carried by a designated runner. Matches last until the snitch is caught, which can take anywhere from 1 second to 40 minutes. After the first 25 minutes, the snitch runner is periodically handicapped so the snitch is easier to catch.

James Garbett a sophomore in communications, said he’s amazed by how much the game has developed.

“It’s crazy how for some students something that seems make-believe has become real life,” Garbett said. “It shows just how amazing media is and how impactful it is in our world.”

Being a part of the Crimson Elite Quidditch team has made a huge impact on Allyn’s life and college experience.

“I want to keep improving personally and as a team and expand Utah Quidditch. My ultimate personal goal is to make Team USA as one of the female chasers and play at the next Global Games in 2016,” Allyn said.

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