Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Quidditch sweeps the Capstone

Sunday afternoon didn’t see its usual post-game day lull this weekend. Instead, hundreds of first-time Quidditch players and nearly 1,500 spectators gathered for World Cup Quidditch on the Quad.

The tournament began with Denny Chimes playing music from the Harry Potter soundtrack, and four fields representing the four Hogwarts houses released the “Snitches,” gold-clad cross-country runners, to begin each game.

The teams began on opposite sides of each field, and the chasers and beaters raced to the middle at the sound of the referee’s whistle to capture the “quaffle” and “Bludgers,” which they used to make and defend goals.

Meanwhile, the seekers left the field in search of the golden Snitch which, when caught, would end the game.

On the other side of the Quad, tents advertising face-painting at Hogsmeade and wand-making at Ollivander’s attracted young children and college students alike, and within an hour, “butterbeer” was completely sold out.

“People trickled in-and-out all day,” said Andi Johnson, a senior majoring in English and a third-year Creative Campus intern. “We probably had well over 1,500 people here, and not all of them were students. There have been professors, families with young kids and older couples, too.”

The final match of the tournament began at 5 p.m. and featured two very different teams — Afghanistan and Sweden.

Team Afghanistan, who beat Denmark in the semi-finals, had practiced twice before beginning the tournament, and the team members weren’t part of any overarching organization.

“We’re just a bunch of Harry Potter fanatics who wanted to play Quidditch,” said Camellia Aslami, a senior majoring in interior design. “We’d definitely do it again.”

Team Sweden was comprised mainly of law students. They hadn’t practiced at all before beginning tournament play.

Sweden team member Kaitlyn Griffin, a first year law student, said some team members came to the preliminary rounds on Thursday to learn by watching, but they didn’t have time to do anything else.

“This was the best study break of my life,” she said.

Despite not having practiced, Sweden had outscored its opponents 240 to 80 prior to beginning the final match. In the finals, they beat Afghanistan 70 to 30.

Griffin said their success was largely a result of team member Brad Starks, who spectators had nicknamed “the giant” by the end of the day. She also gave credit to the overall team and everyone’s hard work and cooperation.

Many of the teams and the Creative Campus interns were surprised at the game’s physicality, which caused several sprained ankles and other minor injuries.

“I had no idea it would be this physical,” said Alexandra Tucci, a junior majoring in advertising and a second-year Creative Campus intern. “It’s a really difficult game to referee. The players have to be physical in order to stop the other chasers and get the quaffle.”

Meridith Shook, a junior majoring in art history and Spanish and a first-year Creative Campus intern, said that she was really glad that the book drive was such a large component of the event, which raised 1,074 books for the Alabama Literacy Initiative.

The South Africa team, comprised of members from the theatre honor society Alpha Psi Omega, raised the most books at 287.

“I am really pleased with everything,” Johnson said. “I’ve heard rumors that University Recreation might make Quidditch an intramural sport. Even if it’s just a rumor, this definitely won’t be the last time this happens. The support we’ve gotten has been incredible.”

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