Critics say Harry Potter game Quidditch is more joke than sport

Saturday, November 13, 2010

WASHINGTON - Harry Potter’s magical, fictional game of Quidditch has been slammed by the critics, who say the game is more joke than sport.

Quidditch, the brainchild of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, has taken flight in hundreds of colleges and high schools in America.

Critics say it’s hard to tell which is more costly-the money spent playing it or the embarrassment it brings their institutions.

And others have said that the efforts by some to bring legitimacy to the game-including holding tryouts, having more structured competitions and even seeking NCAA recognition-are threatening to take the fun out of something that was supposed to be fun.

Alicia Radford, spokeswoman for the International Quidditch Association said she never anticipated Quidditch would take off the way it has.

“Quidditch got its start in 2005 at Middlebury College. It was just kind of a Sunday afternoon dorm sport,” Fox News quoted her as saying.

“The startup expenses can be a little more intense than if you were to start up, say, an ultimate Frisbee league, and all you needed to buy was a Frisbee. You need a volleyball and two dodgeballs; the hoops can be a little more expensive,” said Radford.
layers are allowed to play with any “wooden or plastic pole at least 40 (inches),” according to the rules, but the IQA Guidebook to Getting Started recommends teams buy brooms like the Scarlet Falcon - a hand-crafted doozie made by a company in Florida for 60 dollars a pop.

And though most teams fund themselves, critics said Quidditch is drawing attention and news coverage away from other, more serious school accomplishments.

“Quidditch is sapping our school’s funds, is causing me to be ridiculed by all my friends, and might cost me a job,” Middlebury senior Zachary Harris wrote to the “Stop Quidditch!” Facebook group.

However, Quidditch players said that the game will fly even higher.

Valerie Fischman, a Quidditch player at the University of Maryland, said she’s working to have the NCAA officially recognize the sport.

Others players say that may be putting the broom before the wizard, but that the sport definitely needs to continue to develop.

“I don’t think we want to alienate the people who play the sport just because it’s fun,” said Radford.

“But at the same time, over the last five years, Quidditch has acquired and developed some really good athletes who want to take the sport more seriously, and having good opportunities for them to play competitively is important to keeping the sport moving forward.” (ANI)

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