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Intramural Quidditch Hits U.S. College Campuses

Posted by: Melissa
December 16, 2006, 06:47 PM

Today's edition of the Wall Street Journal reports that a new fad is sweeping college campuses across the U.S. -- Intramural (earthbound) Quidditch! The article is available online to paid subscribers, and TLC is happy to provide some highlights:
In Quidditch games played at Middlebury College in Vermont, one student IS the Snitch, and attempts to outrun the other players.

"Rainey Johnson, sporting a yellow shirt, yellow socks and yellow paint smeared on his face, darted across the freshman quad.
Other students, in capes, ran after him clutching brooms between their legs and grasping in vain for a tennis ball stuffed in a sock hanging out of his yellow shorts."

At Marlboro College, a toy helicopter launched from a slingshot serves as the Snitch, and must be caught before it reaches the ground. Water-soaked foam balls become Bludgers, and a volleyball is used as the Quaffle.

Middlebury's model, though (with a student Snitch, Dodgeball Bludgers and a volleyball Quaffle "aimed at gold-painted Hula Hoops mounted on chairs"), is catching on at other east coast colleges: Bucknell and Vassar students are putting Quiddtich teams together for the spring using "Middlebury rules."

Middlebury student Alexander Benepe and friends started the Quidditch craze at their school last year, and have seen it grow tremendously this fall.

"About 30 Middlebury students played pickup games almost every weekend this fall, usually two or three matches, before heading to a 'Quidditch World Cup' that drew five teams and about 60 players this month.

"'We are the first college students who grew up reading Harry Potter,' says Mr. Benepe, a sophomore from New York City. 'It's very much a book of our generation.'"

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