Iowa State’s growing Quidditch Club will compete in a tournament hosted by the Mizou Quidditch team against 12 other college teams over the weekend in Columbia, Miss.
The club typically competes in two or three tournaments a year, which makes the tournament on March 9 even more significant.
Andrew Folkmann, Quidditch Club president and sophomore in history, said it will be the biggest and most competitive tournament for the team.
“Playing in this tournament means a lot because some of the great teams in our area will be there, and I’m excited to get to go toe-to-toe with them again,” said Jacob Vogt, vice president of the Quidditch Club and freshman in mechanical engineering.
Other teams include the Southeast Iowa Horntails, Illinois State Firebirds, Kansas Quidditch, Kansas City Krakens and Team Ohio: Quidditch Police.
“We want to beat Kansas. They’re pretty highly ranked in the [International Quidditch Association] system,” said Emily Whitemarsh, junior in mechanical engineering and the club’s promotional chairwoman.
The team trained hard in preparation, adding an extra practice every week. Folkmann had to shape his leadership role during practices by becoming more of a coach and less of a member.
“If I saw someone doing something wrong, I call them out on it. That’s something that we’ve never really done before,” Folkmann said.
New members are especially welcome to join the team, which only has approximately 15 to 20 members who actively participate in the club. Folkmann said the team is also greatly in need of female members due to a gender ratio rule.
“Obviously, it is a sport completely based upon Harry Potter, and so, association is okay, but the problem is when people show up expecting it to be a fan club and not a full-contact sport,” Vogt said.
While Folkmann admits that Harry Potter has been a teaching tool for new members trying to learn the game, he stresses that Quidditch is a competitive sport.
“A lot of people think we’re like a Harry Potter fan club. Most of us aren’t,” Folkmann said. “[Quidditch is] a full contact sport. There are rules. There’s an association involved.”
Quidditch clubs around the nation are becoming more serious. Right now, teams meet through the International Quidditch Association and Facebook groups.
Folkmann himself was skeptical about the sport when he first joined and became involved due to a friend’s involvement.
“They suckered me into a play … and I actually really enjoyed it,” Folkmann said.
The team practices twice a week at Lied Recreation Athletic Center. Vogt says that as far as potential members are concerned, now is a good time to join the club. The team plans to continue perfecting the basic skills of the game and working on their athleticism.
Potential members should not be concerned about the minor details of the game. Whitemarsh said club members will eventually get used to running down a field with a broom between their legs.