Baylor quidditch team brings fictional game to life

The world of Harry Potter comes to Baylor through the game of quidditch. Photo illustration courtesy of Brittany Tankersley

By Emily Oetinger | Guest Contributor

Quidditch is a common game in the world of Harry Potter. The Baylor quidditch team brings this game to life as they use quaffles, bludgers and a snitch to chase their dreams of winning the house cups.

The Bears Quidditch Association’s goal is to “go beyond creating a team that can play the game of quidditch. It is our desire to cultivate a community that our members can grow and thrive in while at Baylor University.”

Wheaton, Ill., junior keeper Sam Anliker, who is the head of Hufflepuff, heard about the Quidditch team from his brother who is a die-hard Harry Potter fan.

“When I found out Baylor had a quidditch team he really wanted me to join,” Anliker said. “I have stayed on the team because of the overall team culture.”

The team practices twice a week to build its skills and the members’ relationships with one another.

“I appreciate the chance to compete, practice and travel with the people I love,” Lubbock junior Ravenclaw member Caleb Williams said.

Along with the close-knit team culture, another aspect that brings quidditch to life is the planning it takes.

“I really enjoy the combination of physicality and strategy,” Anliker said. “You don’t need to be the biggest, fastest or strongest on the field to excel at Quidditch, but you can really be an asset to the team by knowing what to do at what time.”

A part of this strategy comes from the main difference between real-life Quidditch and Quidditch in the movies.

“We have similar strategies to those in the movies, but the main difference is found in the points system, since USQ [U.S. Quidditch] wants the game to be dominated by the seekers as the movies depict it,” Anliker said. “The snitch is only worth 30 points upon capture and doesn’t end the game, so this change makes it a lot more competitive and essential to have good chaser balance.”

The Baylor quidditch team competes in the southwest region against six official college teams that are also in this region. They also have house games they play at home.

“When each person joins quidditch, they join one of the four Hogwarts Houses, and during House Games, the different houses compete in quidditch matches in an attempt to win the most House Points and the esteemed House Cup,” according to their website.

They hold twice-weekly practices at 5 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the Eighth Street field.

“My favorite part of the game is the newness,” Williams said. “Every strategy is fresh and never before seen, so you’re constantly on the cutting edge trying to invent and innovate.”

While innovating in the game, the team also uses its talents to raise money for charity. Last month, they hosted a TriWizard Charity Cup. At this event, they taught fellow students how to play Quidditch while raising money for lung cancer research.

“At the end of the day the game is about more than yourself,” Anliker said. “It is about knowing why you’re playing and who you play for, and the TriWizard cup was a great reminder of that because we had the chance to raise money for something bigger than ourselves.”

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