University Quidditch Club opens up to Community

The University of Portsmouth Quidditch Club is opening training sessions to the community from September 2017!

Quidditch is a fast-growing, mixed gender, full contact sport played across the world. The game can look baffling to newcomers, with up to 5 balls active at once, 4 on-pitch positions and the necessity for players to hold a broom between their legs at all times! With three bludgers and pitch boundaries, this fast paced sport can catch Harry Potter fans off guard. With its full contact elements and mixed gender requirements, quidditch has been surprising people since its debut as a real world game in 2005.

University of Portsmouth students have had the chance to take part since the club began in 2014, but now the group is opening training to non-students as well – meaning club members have the opportunity to take part in student sessions or mixed groups, with both students and non-students making up Portsmouth’s competitive team.

Jaelithe Swan is a current Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries student and the President of the UP Quidditch Club for the forthcoming academic year.

“We’re really excited to expand our training sessions,” she says. “We’re looking forward to getting to know new players, and showing new members what the sport is all about.”

Quidditch sees up to 7 players per team on pitch with 4 chasing-based roles battling to put the quaffle through the opposing team’s hoops for 10 points. Hoops stand at varying heights, with 3 at either end of the pitch. Being hit by a bludger – one of three craftily thrown dodgeballs – forces players to run back to their hoops and tap back in and temporarily removing them from the game before continuing play.

Quidditch allows for continuous substitutions and teams must ensure that they have a keeper, three chasers and two beaters on pitch at all times – plus a seeker once the snitch has been released at 18 minutes. No more than 4 people who identify as the same gender may be in play at once.

Seekers must try to catch the snitch (a ball attached to the short of the Snitch Runner), to end the game and earn their team an additional 30 points.

“Last year we came 19th in the country at the British Quidditch Cup in March,” Jaelithe says. “This year, we’re looking to push that further through expanding our team. Our training structure is changing, and we’re looking forward to welcoming new players into the fold!”

With various tournaments across the quidditch season, which generally runs parallel to University terms, club members have the option to train competitively or to play to keep active.

Ellie Marvin, University of Portsmouth Psychology graduate, says: “I’ve made so many great friends through the sport. I love training because I can be competitive or just have fun while keeping fit.”

Taught by Portsmouth Quidditch Coach and Captain Jack Latoy, community sessions will be held by Strikers Quidditch on Sundays, 2-5pm at Milton Park, in addition the UP Quidditch sessions which will run 2-5pm on Wednesday afternoons during term time.

With a range of positions and tactics available, the game benefits even the newest players.

“Quidditch is made unique through its inclusivity,” explains Jack. “What makes it great to play however is the pace and style of gameplay. Quidditch is one of the fastest sports you can play but does not require a ridiculous level of fitness. It is a contact sport yet playable with either very high or very low levels of contact. The variety of positions playing on the same pitch in quidditch makes it unpredictable, highly tactical and means there is a role for everyone.”

This year’s beginners’ quidditch sessions will take place at Milton Park on Sunday 24th September, Wednesday 27th September and 1st October, 2-5pm.

To get in contact with the University Club, check out their website at horntailstrikers.wixsite.com/strikers or email quidditch@upsu.net, or to keep up to date with training information and the latest updates, make sure to like the UP Quidditch Club on Facebook!

Not a student? Check out the Strikers Quidditch update on community sessions this year!

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