The University of Massachusetts Quidditch team zoomed and soared on their brooms dodging bludgers and seeking snitches last weekend at the fifth Quidditch World Cup at Randall’s Island in New York.
The team unofficially came in 32nd place out of 60 teams in Division I said Brent Tenerowicz, the team’s vice president and one of the team’s chasers. He said the official brackets haven’t been posted yet.
Tenerowicz said there were 94 teams from all over the United States and the world including teams from Canada, Finland and Brazil. He also said this year they saw more teams from the south and the Midwest indicating that Quidditch seems to be spreading all over the country. He said the sport seems to be taking off among colleges because the books came out when college-aged kids were growing up.
“Our generation is the Harry Potter generation,” he said.
Tenerowicz said the 94 teams present at the World Cup were divided into Division I, which is the most competitive, Division II and high school teams. This year was the first year the teams were divided into categories. According to Tenerowicz, the change was made because in previous years participants were getting injured going up against more competitive teams.
He said last year there were more serious injuries, such as concussions, compared to this year, where according to Tenerowicz, there were more minor cuts and bruises than serious injuries.
This year, Tenerowicz said one young woman on the UMass team sustained a concussion and stayed overnight in the hospital. Another member of the team suffered an injury while playing for a snitch.
Tenerowicz said the team beat Ives Pond and Eastern Michigan University and lost to University of Texas Austin and Marquette.
Tenerowicz described the University of Texas Austin and Marquette teams as “elite” and said they played a tough match against them.
Watching the University of Texas Austin versus Marquette University was exhilarating, according to Tenerowicz. He said the Texas team dominated in speed and size, whereas the Marquette team was superior in passing.
The Quidditch tradition was started by Middlebury College in 2005, who has reigned supreme in the World Cup competitions every year only losing one game to University of Michigan in this year’s round robin.
Although this loss against University of Michigan didn’t affect Middlebury’s first place status at this year’s World Cup competition, Tenerowicz described the defeat as a “big thing to everyone in Quidditch.”
There are roughly 46 active players on the competitive team, according to Tenerowicz. He said only members on the competitive team attend the World Cup, but Sunday practices are open to anyone who wants to play a casual game of Quidditch.
“We had fun and we played hard, said Tenerowicz, “Everyone who played should be proud of themselves.”
Nancy Pierce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.