Meet Brandeis' high-flying quidditch team

The Brandeis Quidditch Club will compete at the US Quidditch Cup on April 13th and 14th

The Brandeis Quidditch team practices in Gosman. There are three vertical hoops and players hold sticks for brooms Photos/Mike Lovett

The Brandeis quidditch team practices in the Gosman Athletic and Convocation Center

Welcome to the wizarding world of collegiate-level quidditch, where the fantasy game found in Harry Potter books and movies has made its way to Brandeis’s enchanted campus.

Two members of the Brandeis Quidditch team practice in Gosman. Players hold sticks for brooms

If you’re a Muggle like me and you’re unfamiliar with quidditch, have no fear, the magical undertaking of a quick Google search has saved the day.

Since its first imaginative adaptation at Vermont’s Middlebury College in 2005, eight years after the publication of J.K Rowling’s initial Harry Potter novel, the game has spread to more than 450 teams globally, with over 200 in the US alone. There’s no flying involved, but players’ legs must have a broom in between them as they run across a field similar to that used in rugby. Part of this full contact, co-ed sport also involves balls such as quaffles (a volleyball) to be thrown through hoops at 10 points each, bludgers (a dodgeball) thrown to temporarily knock rival players out of play, and a snitch (a tennis ball) worth 30 points to end the game if caught.

Classified as a club sport here at Brandeis, quidditch is one out of the 21 competitive clubs operating on campus. With an array of options for students to pick from students have ample opportunity to stay active while building upon invaluable skills.

The Brandeis Quidditch team practices in Gosman. There are three vertical hoops and players hold sticks for brooms

The uniqueness of the club sports program is that whether it is a competitive or an instructional club, they are run solely by the students. Some have coaches, but all final decisions are made by club leaders,” explained Club Sports coordinator Derek Jenesky. “They practice three, sometimes four times a week, compete for championships, travel, recruit and retain members, submit their own budgets, fundraise, and more, all while being under student leadership.”  

With a lot of collective perseverance and dedication, last season the Brandeis Quidditch Club qualified to play in the US Quidditch Cup for the first time in program history (no magic needed!). The success doesn’t end here, however, considering that the team found out that for the second time in a row, they earned a bid to participate in this tournament once again in Round Rock, Texas on April 13th and 14th.

“It has been an amazing journey so far,” said Brandeis Quidditch head coach Sheldon Bostic. “To see the enthusiasm and how excited they were to be attending the national tournament last year made it all worthwhile for me. This is a very fun team to coach and you can see everyone improving each day.”

The Brandeis Quidditch team practices in Gosman. Players hold sticks for brooms

As a former Major League Quidditch (MLQ) player with the Boston Night Riders, coach Bostic has provided the expertise and guidance needed to help Brandeis Quidditch find its stride. Regardless of player skill level or experience, coach Bostic promotes a highly supportive environment that builds players’ confidence to elevate them to higher levels of success.

The team is very inclusive,” said team president Tess Kowalski ‘21. “I didn't feel left out or awkward at my first practice because everyone seemed excited to get to know me and to help me learn the sport. We do team dinners every week in addition to practices, and that helps me get to know my teammates outside of just playing quidditch.”

Beyond being a highly active sport, quidditch has created a close-knit community for students across all backgrounds. The Brandeis team in particular is always looking for prospective players to join their fun and to be a part of the exciting journey they are on towards their boundless success. To learn more or to join their team, make sure to visit their website for additional information.

Categories: Athletics, Student Life

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