DISCLAIMER: The following article is an April Fools’ Day article. Though it may relate to real people or events, it is not factual.
Until recently, Montclair State University has supported 18 NCAA teams — from men and women’s soccer to women’s lacrosse to men’s baseball. However, Quidditch — a game built within J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series that has been slowly incorporated into the world of collegiate sports — has also been added to the list.
While the game had become popular over the years due to its growing fan base, it has yet to become a sport in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). However, as of April 1, the nation’s top Quidditch teams will be able to compete within the conference alongside other sports as traditional as men’s baseball and women’s softball at the university level.
For those who do not know, Quidditch is a competitive sport in the Wizarding World of the Harry Potter universe in which two teams of seven players ride flying broomsticks and try to score on one another using four balls: a Quaffle, two Bludgers and a Golden Snitch. For those who have seen any of the movies, the game is often played at high altitudes and filled with impossible stunts.
However, in the realm of what Harry Potter fans would call “muggles,” the game is a mixture of elements from rugby, dodgeball and tag played on a field the size of a hockey rink between players of both genders. Perhaps the most important rule to hold true to the books is that players must hold a broomstick between their legs at all times.
To become a member of Montclair State’s Quidditch team, students must not only be athletic, but prove their knowledge of Rowling’s books well-beyond the average viewer of her films. Students who attend the team’s tryouts can expect a rigorous round of physical testing as well as questionnaires and theatrical rehearsals based on the Harry Potter universe.
With the high number of teams in the tri-state area, Montclair State has been scrambling to finalize its team of seven players and find its first school to compete against. Currently, a game against Stockton University is in the works and is tentatively scheduled for early on in the fall semester. In turn, students who are interested in attending the first game can keep a look out for emails from Montclair Athletics over the summer.