The Central Centaurs, Central Michigan University’s Quidditch team, has flown to the top of the sport and will compete in the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association World Cup April 5 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
This is the second year in a row the Central Centaurs have made it to the World Cup. Team captain and Homer senior Ashley Calhoun said the team hopes to make it to the Sweet 16 or higher.
“We are really excited, and we have had an awesome year,” Calhoun said. “We have a lot of support behind us, and people are saying we can go pretty far in the tournament this year.”
Quidditch is a sport adapted from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, which mixes elements of rugby, dodgeball and tag. There are seven players on each team, and a deflated volleyball, dodge balls and a tennis ball are used to play. This nontraditional sport, first adapted in 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont, is now played at more than 300 universities and high schools throughout North America, Australia and Europe.
“Quidditch is a fantastic sport and a great community,” Muskegon senior Jef Fisher said. “It is competitive but there is always a lot of friendship and comradery since it’s more of an outsider sport.”
For the players, the World Cup is the highlight of the year. The season begins in the fall, and the teams play through the spring in all weather conditions.
For many, the love of the “Harry Potter” series piqued their interest in the sport. Although the sport differs in ways from the books due to lack of magic and flying broomsticks, there are still some commonalities.
“My favorite ‘Harry Potter’ Quidditch moment is the first time Harry catches the Snitch in his mouth,” Fisher said. “Sometimes in real Quidditch you just catch the Snitch and you don’t know how it happened. It is a nice parallel.”