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Quidditch at UTEP?

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By Lorain Watters
On July 16, 2013

'I solemnly swear I am up to no good.' If you grew up reading the books and watching the movies of Harry Potter like I did, you would feel just as eager about the mere idea of having a quidditch team at UTEP. Unfortunately, there still isn't one.

For those who don't know, quidditch is played in real life across the world by 916 teams. Most teams are a part of a university, while others represent a city or town. 

In quidditch, there are seven players for both teams. The pitch that the sport is played on is similar to that of soccer. A volleyball replaces the quaffle, a dodgeball replaces the beater and a person is the snitch, using a tennis ball in a sock wrapped to his waist for other players to catch. At each end of the pitch are three goal posts ranging in size, which allows the players to throw the quaffles through the loops to score points for the team.

Each player has an assigned role. There must be three chasers (responsible for passing the quaffle to score points in the goal posts, worth 10 points each), two beaters (who try and hit the opposing team's players), one keeper (the goalkeeper, similar to a goalie in soccer) and one seeker (responsible for catching the snitch for 30 points before time runs out).

Rumors of a quidditch team being created during the spring and fall semester of 2012 circled around campus, but nothing went through-whether it was lack of interest or not enough motivation. But fret not fellow Potterheads, because UTEP can still be involved in this international sport.

According to Cesar Hernandez Jr., recreational sports specialist at the Recreational Sports Department, students who are interested in making and recognizing their team as a club on campus must first be in good standing with the university policies.

"Any student organization need(s) to be at least one year under the Student Engagement and Leadership Center," Hernandez said. "We have to make sure they are leaving the student engagement in good standing." 

After students submit an application provided by the Recreational Sports Department, it is reviewed and eventually approved or not by the department director.

"Our biggest concern is that sports clubs don't last more than one year. We would like to have them last at least 10 consecutive years and represent our great university," Hernandez said. 

Quidditch is a vicious sport, with elements of hockey, soccer and rugby combined. It would be great to see UTEP get a team and represent El Paso at national quidditch games or even the Quidditch World Cup. 

Until then, we can only continue to hope for J.K. Rowling's world to come to life in ours. 

For more information about quidditch, visit internationalquidditch.org/mission/. 

Mischief managed. 

Lorain Watters may be reached at prospector@utep.edu. 


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