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Loyola Quidditch team places second at World Cup

July 26, 2013

Gaining success in the game inspired by the “Harry Potter” books sweeping college campuses across the country, the Loyola University New Orleans Quidditch team emerged as finalists in Division 2 of the International Quidditch Association’s World Cup VI held this year in Kissimmee, Fla. The team played four games in pool play on the first of the two-day competition and three bracket games on the second, going undefeated until the final game against Sam Houston State University.

Quidditch, created in the books by J.K Rowling, was founded at Middlebury College in Vermont in 2005, and has since inspired a sport played worldwide with teams from France, Canada and Mexico attending the most recent World Cup. In order to play, each team must have three chasers who are in charge of scoring by throwing a ball through one of three rings, one keeper who prevents the chasers from scoring, and one seeker who tries to catch the snitch—a player running with a tennis ball in a sock that the seeker must retrieve. Beaters also throw dodgeballs at the opposing team, which makes them dismount their brooms and return to the hoops. All players, aside from the snitch, must have a broomstick between their legs at all times for plays made to count.

Division 1 of the Quidditch World Cup features the 60 best teams in the world; the University of Texas is this year’s champion. Division 2 features 20 teams from smaller schools and schools with newer programs.

The Wolf Pack won its Division 2 pool, defeating Ringling College of Art and Design, College of Charleston, Miami University of Ohio and the University of South Alabama. “I was really impressed with how the team operated. Our training, our experience, our game plan, our cooperation and our excitement clicked perfectly,” said Eric Jurgeson, freshman keeper for the Wolf Pack.

The wins afforded Loyola the third seed going into bracket play, where they faced the University of South Carolina and had a rematch with Ringling before facing another Southwest Region team and the favorite to win Division 2, Sam Houston State University. The final game was extremely close, as the score was 80 to 70 before Sam Houston caught the snitch, ending the game and setting the final score at 110-70 in favor of the Bearkats.

“It was definitely a rewarding experience. This was our first year as an official team, so seeing the best teams in the world play each other was extremely helpful in evaluating our own team and where we rank amongst other teams,” said Loyola student Tad Walters, president of the Quidditch team.

For more information on Quidditch, contact the team.

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