World Cup Champions
introduction by Lion Terry Heller
As a late-spring evening turns to dusk, UT’s Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field bustles with activity. Two men jog together on the track; another pair tosses a Frisbee. And in another corner, about 15 students are chasing and tackling each other astride broomsticks. Enter Texas Quidditch.
This wizard’s game has leapt from the pages of Harry Potter to sports fields at colleges around the country. At UT, roughly 100 Longhorns are members of Texas Quidditch, an official club sport that fields six teams. And last April, the varsity team became global champions when it trounced UCLA 190-80 at the sixth-annual Quidditch World Cup in Kissimmee, Fla.
Despite the team’s stellar record, its sport still faces skepticism. “When someone says Quidditch is a bunch of nerds, I tell them to come out and play, and they change their minds pretty quick,” says player Shelby Manford. “It’s a full-contact sport, like a more intense version of dodgeball, rugby, and soccer all mixed together.”
Founded in 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont, Quidditch had spread westward to UT by 2009, when it began as a small club. It’s been steadily growing since, and now interest is strong enough that UT hosts teams not just for all of the four Hogwarts houses, but also two traveling teams.
The basics: each coed team has seven players. There’s the keeper, who guards the three hoops that serve as goals; three chasers, who try to score with the quaffle (also known as a volleyball); two beaters, who hit other players with bludgers (or dodgeballs); and one seeker, who tries to catch the snitch. The snitch is a neutral figure who wears all yellow and has a tennis ball in a sock hanging out of his or her shorts, much like a flag in flag football. When a player grabs that sock, the game ends. Everyone must hold a broomstick between their legs at all times.
Come meet and hear 4 members of the 2013 Champion Texas Quidditch team and learn a little about a game you've probably never heard of.
Featured Lunch Menu: Smothered Pork Chop w/ Apricot and Madeira Sauce with mixed grilled vegetables and roasted sweet potatoes; mixed field green salad with assorted rolls and a featured daily dessert. Vegetarian meal or Grilled Chicken Caesar salad are available alternatives as well.
Please register by noon on Wednesday
We order meals based on your reservations and must pay for them even if you do not show up. Please keep this in mind if your plans shift and cancel your reservation so we can adjust the headcount.