Quidditch craze continues to grow on college campuses

BU’s Max Havlin seizes the “quaffle” during a World Cup V Quidditch match at Randall's Island Park in New York.

The evolving game of Quidditch, best known for its ensorcelling action sequences in the “Harry Potter” series, is kicking off its spring season.

It isn’t just a bunch of Potter fanatics on brooms, donning capes, bouncing a ball around, however. From tackles to tosses, this full-on physical sport has a big following in Boston and beyond.

“It can be a little bit dangerous,” said Boston University senior Kedzie Teller. “You have people who hit cheap and hit hard.”

Captain of BU’s Quidditch team, Teller has been playing the sport for three years to stay active following a brief run on the school’s track team his freshman year. In his time on the field, Teller said he has seen his fair share of physical follies between players.

“When I describe what sports it’s most similar to, I say rugby, handball and dodge ball,” said Teller. “Basically, you have to learn how to tackle with a broom.”

Teller was recently one of three students from BU nominated to attend the 2012 Olympics in London representing Team USA.

Since its inception in 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont, the sport of Quidditch has grown rapidly, bringing its “magic” to campuses across the commonwealth.

Tufts University currently ranks fifth regionally in Quidditch, while Harvard University and Emerson College are recognized as the 33rd and 49th teams, respectively, by the International Quidditch Association.

“It’s a lot of physical play,” said Allison Gillette, commissioner of Emerson’s Quidditch league. “It’s becoming a very attractive sport because it includes everything. You have to run constantly and you have to be strong.”

Eric Wahl and Matt Lowe, also Emerson students, even brought fame to the once-fabled sport by launching its official athletic apparel company. The duo dishes out equipment for the IQA, the governing body for the newfound sport.

Learn the lingo

Chasers: There are three. Their job is to get the quaffle, a volleyball, passed around the field, into one
of the opponents’ three hoops.
Keeper: Like a goaltender, they guard the three hoops, but can also act as a fourth Chaser.
Beaters: They handle bludgers (a kickball/dodgeball) and use them to attack the other team. There are three bludgers on the field at all times.
Snitch: A nonpartisan athlete dressed in yellow/gold who has a ball attached to their back via an athletic sock.
Tasked with catch “the snitch” without tackling.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear


'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…


British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…


DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.


Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

The Word

Is Avril Lavigne's new music video racist?

Some fans say Avril Lavigne's new music video is offensive to Japanese people.


Jodie Foster married girlfriend Alexandra Hedison this weekend

No need to rely on cryptic Golden Globe speeches for your movie star sexual orientation questions anymore: Jodie Foster is married to a lady. Foster…


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…


Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…


Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version


MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win


Spider-Man's web shooters get real

A German lab technician has created a working Spider-Man web shooter, which fires pellets and a harpoon-tipped, retractable fishing line instead of a liquid web.


Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.


What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.


Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.