Quidditch has been around at Rutgers long before a team was officially established, but once the Nearly-Headless Knights were recognized in 2012, there has been no stopping them.
For those who don’t know, Quidditch is a fictional game from J.K. Rowling’s popular Harry Potter series. People started playing the game in real life after making the necessary modifications for non-magical people, and it has since grown to become a legitimate sport.
I talked with the President and Treasurer of the team, Chisa Egbelu and Katie Gibison, at the first Quidditch Tournament that Rutgers has hosted. They gave me some insight into the game they are so passionate about.
Kaitlin Rogers: Is this the first tournament you have held? What was the process of organizing it like?
Katie Gibison: Yes, it’s the first one we’ve hosted.
Chisa Egbelu: It’s really different hosting a tournament than just going to tournaments. You have a lot more weight on your shoulders. I’m trying to make sure nothing goes wrong everywhere. We’ve had a lot of help and we’re really blessed to have that. We’re not just here to play; we’re here to make sure it goes great.
KG: Everybody has a good time.
[Coach in the background: I’m here to win!]
KR: Why did you decide to actually get involved in the team?
CE: I think everyone has their own personal reasons. We’re all athletes and we all want to win. I guess this is a great outlet to do that. Rutgers treats us pretty well. They give us money and we have cool apparel and it’s always cool to rep what you do.
KG: Quidditch started off as a purely fan-based sport but it’s really come into its own as far as an actual athletic competition.
CE: Yeah, it’s evolved.
KR: Is it really competitive and physically demanding?
KG: Oh yeah. It’s a full-contact tackle sport.
CE: I don’t know if you saw but this guy over here in this past game just lost part of his tooth.
KG: And we had a bloody nose. He was like– ‘I’m pretty sure it’s not broken.’
CE: The trainer and the medics are definitely keeping themselves busy.
KR: Are you intimidated by that at all?
CE: Are we intimidated? I’m ready to give some bloody noses. You can keep that in there.
KG: No! Others are intimidated by us.
KR: How important is Harry Potter in your lives? Do you guys get together as a team and watch the movies or anything like that?
KG: We have some team get-togethers but we spend more time playing board games and stuff.
CE: We hang out. Harry Potter is not really a huge facet of what we do.
KG: It’s definitely a part of it. For Valentine’s Day we were selling chocolate frogs. That was a lot of fun.
CE: Yeah, that was awesome.
KG: We like doing stuff that’s themed around Harry Potter but it’s not a main focus.
KR: So what would you like to tell other students who are thinking about joining the team?
KG: We take all levels. We don’t just want people who are really athletic or anything. We have a place for everybody.
KR: When you say all levels, does that mean everyone competes or you have to try out?
KG: We have a main competitive team but our goal is to get at least 2 competitive teams.
CE: We have about 45 people within our system but you can only have a roster of 21, so of course it’s a competition to be one of those top 21.
KG: But we rotate it. We’ve got people who can’t go to certain tournaments so we just rotate other people in.
CE: You fall off the team, you get back on the team. It’s just like any sport, really.
Be sure to check out the next Quidditch tournament or even join the team. It’s a blast!