By Lexi Seay
Hold on to your brooms and wands, because Texas State Quidditch is shaking things up.
Quidditch is a fictional sport created by author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling. The original sport was played on flying broomsticks, but it has now been adapted for non-magical folk to play on the ground. Instead of a flying broomstick they use PVC pipe to place between their legs throughout the duration of a game. The game is played by two teams of seven (three chasers, two beaters, one keeper, and one seeker) and involves four balls (a quaffle, two bludgers, and a golden snitch).
Texas State Quidditch has become the largest non-Greek organization on campus. New head coach Ryan Nawrocki says quidditch resembles elements of other sports.
“Imagine a game of basketball with three hoops, and at the same time you’re playing a game of basketball and there’s a game of dodgeball in there,” said Nawrocki.
The Texas State Quidditch President got the opportunity to travel across the world and represent the U.S.
President Bailee Fields has played as a beater for the Texas State Quidditch Team for four years. This summer she was one of the 25 athletes that was offered a position on the U.S. National team. Instead of playing for her university, Fields would be playing against other countries in Florence, Italy, to represent her nation. Bailee had to first submit an application, then her skills were then evaluated by national team recruits during local competitions as she competed with Texas State, and those skills were given a closer look at tryouts. Tryouts were held across the country, but she attended the training camp held in San Antonio, Texas.
At the end of the process players would receive an email notifying them if they would be offered a position or not. Fields talks about the mix of emotions she felt when she received it.
“I got the email at a Texas State Quidditch event, and the first thing it says on the email is you can’t tell anyone,” said Fields. “So I was super excited and then I was like ‘Oh crap, I can’t react!’”
The team had to arrive to Florence a week early and attend practice every day, sometimes twice a day. A common theme the coach drilled in the players was “We haven’t won anything until we won it.” Fields says the team was prepared to take on challenging matches and when they did they were able to adapt quickly. Their final game would be a close match with Belgium, leaving United States to take the cup 70-120.
When it came time to leave to Italy, Fields says that it was her first time leaving the country. She said it was a unique experience since they had to actually live there, instead of doing traditional tourist traveling.
“That was really cool to experience that with all those different players, and getting to make new friends,” said Fields.
Fields intends on bringing back the new skills she learned to the Texas State team and is looking forward to her last season here. Although Fields graduates in the spring, she wants to continue her passion for the sport. She plans on trying out for the U.S. National Team again.
Featured image by Miguel Esparza.