Quidditch comes alive at NAU
A sport that was invented by the imagination of J.K. Rowling, the author of the famous Harry Potter series, has now turned into a real-life international phenomenon. Although the broomsticks need to be held and feet are planted firmly on the ground, this unusual sport still managed to become its own association.
The Narwhals, NAU’s club quidditch team, began almost a year ago by President Bridget Peterson. Since she and the founding members initiated the club, the team has recruited enough members for two divisions, both of which have their first game of the semester on Saturday, October 29th.
The Summit Showdown consists of ASU and Mesa Community College’s A and B teams, with a total of six games starting at noon on NAU’s Wall Aquatic Center field.
NAU junior Eric Andres, a founding member of the university’s quidditch team, said the team has been prepping for this match the entire semester, and believes they have significant advantages against their opponents.
“Our NAU team definitely has an altitude advantage,” Andres said. “ASU is ranked number three in the world, and they are a very good team, they have the best defense in the International Quidditch Association, but we have a lot of good, new, young players that are really excited about the game. We have an excellent Seeker and an excellent Keeper that we’re really excited about.”
Even though the new players are enthusiastic and athletic, there are several nuances and fundamentals that they still need to work on. But the true test of their ability will come at their first match on Saturday. Still, the team has grown immensely from the first few practices of the semester.
“A lot of people came out here not really knowing what to expect,” Andres said. “We really separated the men and women from the boys and girls, and we have a really solid team now.”
So how is this fresh new team coping with their nerves for the big match against one of the best teams in the country? Andres said that he seems to be the most nervous out of everyone, and the rest of the team just wants to “kick some ASU butt.”
This past April, NAU played ASU and was only allowed three goals in the five games played, but “we really saw what their offense and defense is so we’ve been able to build off of that,” Andres said.
To calm their nerves and build up energy, the Narwhals are holding a “Pancake Pep Rally” in the Aspen Crossing Hall lobby before the game at 10 AM. The team will be making pancakes and serving them for free to encourage people to head over to the 12 PM match with them after. The club is expecting 200-300 people to attend the tournament, plus online viewers.
“KJACK, our on-campus radio station, is broadcasting the game online with audio and video stream,” Andres said. “Everybody is eager to see how ASU is doing for the World Cup, so the whole nation is going to tune in.”
A few NAU players will be joining the University of Utah Crimson Fliers for the World Cup in New York City the weekend of November 11-13. Over 100 teams will be competing for the title of being the best team in the International Quidditch Association, and winning the sixth annual Quidditch World Cup.
The team encourages everyone to come to NAU’s first match of the season on Saturday, with each of the six games lasting about a half hour.
Knowing the majority of people are unaware of the rules, equipment, and player names of this unusual sport, Andres promises, “come stop by and check it out, because you’re going to fall in love with it.”