Some Skidmore students really wish they could fly, and they’re looking for a coach who can help them.
They play a game called Quidditch, based on the magical, fictional game in the “Harry Potter” books. In the books, it’s played many feet above the ground. At Skidmore and on other college campuses, though it’s played on the ground, but players must keep hold of a broomstick at all times.
Other than the broomstick, it’s a lot like rugby. And even though it’s just a club sport, students play to win.
“We’ve had quite a few injuries, five or seven concussions, a broken collarbone this fall,” said club President Dorothy Parsons.
The college’s student government decided the club was too dangerous to continue without a coach, so the college is ready to pay for someone to help the students play the game without quite as much pain. They’ve started advertising for the position, asking for someone with a rugby background.
“It’s going to be tricky finding someone, but we think it could be quite helpful,” Parsons said, adding that the coach could teach them “how to tackle correctly.”
It may also help if the coach was a Harry Potter fan. The team, like the teams in the books, is led by a student who serves as the coach. The advertisement for a paid coach states that the person must be willing to work alongside student leadership.
Understanding the rules might require a reread of the “Harry Potter” books as well. The rules are based on the complex rules in the books, in which there are three different types of balls and two ways to win.
But most importantly, a muggle coach — that’s a non-magical person — must understand that at its core, the game is just fun. Parsons described it as “rather whimsical.”
“You’re riding a broom the whole time,” she said. “It is a great way to de-stress.”
The team began three years ago, starting with games against RPI’s Quidditch team. Skidmore is a member of the International Quidditch Association, and the team participates in tournaments throughout the Northeast, including games in Vermont and Massachusetts.