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Nathan Baker

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Where's Harry Potter when you need him? Quidditch tourney set for ETSU campus

March 21st, 2014 10:51 am by Nathan Baker

Where's Harry Potter when you need him? Quidditch tourney set for ETSU campus

ETSU Quidditch team (Contributed)

Men’s basketball won’t be the only East Tennessee State University team locked in fierce tournament competition this weekend.

The college’s Quidditch team will host a Tenn-tucky Conference invitational tournament Saturday on the Johnson City campus’ intramural fields near the Wayne G. Basler Center for Physical Activity.

Now 2-2 in the conference, ETSU Quidditch Club President Patricia Kramer said the second-ranked team is excited for the chance to take on Furman University and Tenn-tucky’s No. 1 team, Tennessee Tech University.

“We held a small tournament on campus last year in the spring, and we had a pretty good turnout, so we decided to do it again,” Kramer said.

The page-to-life sport is based on the invented game in J.K. Rowling’s wildly popular “Harry Potter” series of books and the resulting movie franchise.

While the athletes can’t fly on their brooms and the three balls — a quaffle and two bludgers — used during gameplay aren’t enchanted, the muggle, or non-magical, version has been a hit with students on college and high school campuses, many of whom grew up reading the wizarding saga.

Adapted by Middlebury College students in 2005, Muggle Quidditch has spread to more than 300 college campuses and is governed by the International Quidditch Association, which hosts or sanctions two dozen competitions each year.

This April, 80 teams will compete in the annual Quidditch World Cup, hosted by the IQA.

Despite the connotations that a book-based sport may conjure up, Kramer said the full-contact sport is competitive and strenuous.

There are often injuries, from scrapes and abrasions to full-on concussions when two players collide mid-air.

But unlike some of the NCAA-sanctioned sports, Kramer said Quidditch matches are more casual.

Spectators are encouraged to and do dress up like their favorite characters from the source material.

“It’s a family event, young kids are welcome and anyone can come,” Kramer said of Saturday’s tournament play. “It’s really fun and highly entertaining.”

As a bonus, Kramer said the first 25 spectators to arrive will receive free team T-shirts.

The tournament will lift off at 11:30 a.m. with a match between ETSU and Furman.

After an approximately 45-minute match — provided a team doesn’t catch the snitch early — ETSU will take on TTU, a matchup of the first- and second-ranked teams in the conference.

The third match will be Furman against TTU, with a fourth and final bout to determine the champion.

For more information regarding ETSU’s team, visit

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