History education sophomore Rachael Firehammer, who joined the MSU Quidditch club last semester, was surprised at how many teams showed up to compete in the International Quidditch Association’s Midwest Cup, or IQA.
“I didn’t know that there were so many teams all over the place,” Firehammer said. “It was amazing. I went to the Midwest Cup, and there were probably 30 teams from all over the place.”
Although the last Harry Potter movie was released during the summer of 2011, the popularity of the Quidditch team hasn’t slowed one bit. Advertising and public relations junior Erin Betman, who plays beater, said the number of people who signed up for the team in 2012 outnumbered the amount that signed up in 2011.
“We had over 250 people sign up at Sparticipation, and our Facebook group has over 400 people,” Betman said. “People see our booth at Sparticipation and immediately know who we are. Harry Potter is so worldwide, it’s not something that you can easily forget about. When new stories come out, they’re always comparing it to Harry Potter. It’s not something that goes away.”
Betman mentioned although the lack of flight might deter a few potential participants, Quidditch has a broad appeal because it’s the only full-contact coed sport on campus.
“We tackle people to the ground while on brooms, run full force at them,” she said. “That brings a lot of people in. It’s a lot of fun, I don’t think it’ll stop.”
The sport has international appeal as well. Betman said through the IQA, she’s seen teams from all across the world.
“The U.S. has the most teams, but Europe is probably a close second,” she said. “I’ve seen teams from France, as well.”
Firehammer believes the longevity of Quidditch might even outlast the popularity of the books.
“Even though 30, 40 years from now, people may not know as much about Harry Potter, I think Quidditch will stick around,” she said. “I really believe that it will become a sport, not just a club, but a school-wide sport, and become even more popular.”
History education sophomore Zachary Malott, who plays beater, believes because of the large influence the “Harry Potter” series had on this generation, Quidditch will maintain its popularity.
“It was a big part of my childhood and of other people’s childhoods,” Malott said. “As long as those stories stay alive … Quidditch will survive.”