Governor’s Scholars play magical game of Quidditch at Centre
July 21, 2011 By Elizabeth Trollinger
at Centre's GSP, explains the rules of the game to scholars Zane
McQueary of Florence (left) and Lucas Do of Louisville.
Quidditch, played by characters in the "Harry Potter" series,
is widely popular. Above, Do (left) chases down scholars Zack
Wasson of Frankfort (center) and David Matthews of Louisville.
As the final installment of the “Harry Potter” film franchise hit theatres across the country last week, students at the Governor’s Scholars Program at Centre were bringing the magical world to life by playing Harry’s favorite game: Quidditch.
The Quidditch Club, started by scholar Allison Murner of Versailles, has been meeting regularly over the course of the five-week program, playing on the football field and around the Old Quad.
In the “Harry Potter” series, Quidditch is played on broomsticks, with each team trying to score goals into large hoops before the Snitch — a winged, golden orb worth 150 points — is caught, ending the game.
Teams are made up of Chasers, who try to score points; Beaters, who try to knock their opponents off their brooms to keep them from scoring; and one Seeker, whose only job is to catch the Snitch before the other team’s Seeker does.
Gravity would seem to keep non-magical people — also known as Muggles — from playing Quidditch, but the IQA has written a book of rules that accounts for all of the details — including construction of the goal hoops, the jobs of the referees and even how to make a suitable Snitch.
Murner is no stranger to Quidditch, which has become widely popular across the United States.
“I started a team at Woodford, and I play at Transy, where we had a regional tournament with colleges from Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee earlier this year,” she says.
Transylvania University’s team belongs to the International Quidditch Association, which was founded at Middlebury College in 2005 and now includes teams from more than 300 universities and high schools around the globe. The fifth annual Quidditch World Cup will be held in New York City in November this year.
Murner took the initiative to form the Quidditch Club soon after GSP at Centre began.
“They had a club day at the beginning and I thought, ‘Hey, cool, we can play Quidditch!’” she says.
Scholar Macey Culver, from Bell County, was glad that the club at GSP finally gave her an opportunity to play the game.
“I’d always wanted to play, but never had anyone to play with before now,” she says.
Despite not having all of the necessary equipment to play Quidditch, the GSP club is still having fun playing the game.
“If you want to play in International Quidditch Association games, you technically have to have rules and the standard equipment and all that — but you can also play the cheap version like us,” Murner explains.
The “Harry Potter” series is hugely popular with the Centre Scholars. “Every time anyone mentions ‘Harry Potter,’ people cheer,” Murner says.
Murner has thoroughly enjoyed her time on Centre’s campus, and has mixed emotions about the program coming to an end next week.
“It’s kind of bittersweet — I’m anxious to go home and see friends, but I want to stay here forever. I love it,” she says.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 24th among all the nation's colleges and universities and has named Centre No. 1 among all institutions of higher education in the South for two years in a row. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, click here.