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It's weird being a ball
September 22, 2008 11:51 AM   Subscribe

"MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Rainey Johnson, sporting a yellow shirt, yellow socks and yellow paint smeared on his face, darted across the freshman quad. Other students, in capes, ran after him clutching brooms between their legs and grasping in vain for a tennis ball stuffed in a sock hanging out of his yellow shorts."

Muggle quidditch is a full-contact sport. The Intercollegiate Quidditch Association now has more than 100 member schools, thanks to the evangelizing of its founding members, who hail from Middlebury College.

Tackling is encouraged. Capes are good, but aren't mandatory. It sounds completely dorktacular, doesn't it?
posted by rtha (43 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes, dorktacular is the word for it. Cute story about people who have never been laid, thanks.
posted by Mister_A at 11:54 AM on September 22, 2008


Yes, dorktacular is the word for it.

The word you're thinking of is 'stoners'.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:57 AM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


in before vibration
posted by DU at 11:57 AM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Due to the non-existence of magical devices, Muggle Quidditch is played on the ground

HA! Due to the non-existence of magic?? Due to you being pathetic muggles, you mean. Accio a break. /me disapparates in disgust.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:03 PM on September 22, 2008 [14 favorites]


I, too, take umbrage with this dismissal of the existence of magic. Just because you mortals can't get your head around it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I suppose next you'll be contending that letters to Santa never actually make it to him. Philistines.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:07 PM on September 22, 2008


CEASE AND DESIST IT'S STEALING FROM THE MOUTH OF JK ROWLING
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:09 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


At Amherst College in Massachusetts, a dozen students recently tried competitive "boffing,"

This isn't news, that's the oldest sport there is, and it's always been played at college and university.
posted by mannequito at 12:13 PM on September 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's usually cooperative when I do it.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:15 PM on September 22, 2008


I have to admit, before I clicked into this thread, my first thought was, "Wow, kids are getting pretty creative with hazing these days."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:16 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I prefer Australian Indoor-Rules Quiddich.
posted by whuuuu at 12:18 PM on September 22, 2008


I'm fine with this as long as they stay off my lawn
posted by Anders Levant at 12:26 PM on September 22, 2008


Boffing is what a boffin does, isn't it?
posted by ghost of a past number at 12:29 PM on September 22, 2008


Okay, some of the pictures of semi-grown up people happily running around holding brooms between their legs made me smile.
posted by yhbc at 12:38 PM on September 22, 2008


Totally didn't understand on my first reading that the guy in yellow is the Snitch. Wow. Just wow.
posted by Tehanu at 12:38 PM on September 22, 2008


"The snitch is a tennis ball stuffed inside a long sock, which is tied to a cross-country runner's shorts."

[insert prison joke here]
posted by not_on_display at 12:40 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Everyone knows Quidditch isn't fun if you're not flying.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 12:55 PM on September 22, 2008


Everyone knows Quidditch isn't fun if you're not flying.

...on what? Acid?
posted by katillathehun at 1:05 PM on September 22, 2008


... I've said too much [runs out of the room]
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 1:07 PM on September 22, 2008


Dodgeballs are used as bludgers in the Middlebury game.

Volleyballs evoke a bigger sting.
posted by caddis at 1:07 PM on September 22, 2008


Greta VanDeventer, an 18-year-old freshman, was temporarily sidelined after she took an elbow in the eye that left a small gash.

If that name didn't exist, JK Rowling would have had to invent it.

Also, the puffy sword kind of boffing has been happening in Amherst, usually on the Amherst Common (right across the street from the college!) for nearly 20 years now. This is the first I've heard of the Amherst College students giving it a try, granted; the big intramural non-sanctioned public sports spectacle for them was usually the annual snowball fight against UMass after the first big winter snowfall (using snowballs packed with rocks, etc.)
posted by Spatch at 1:14 PM on September 22, 2008


Everyone knows Quidditch isn't fun if you're not flying.

FTFY. But seriously, Quidditch is designed very poorly. The last move of the game (usually) makes the preceding N hours completely superfluous. Why did I just sit and cheer every 10 point goal when the Snitch's 150 points changes, and then ends, the game? There isn't even any real suspense, since the game can't end until the Snitch is caught. Until one team gets 15 goals, they might as well not even announce the score, because it's irrelevant.

The game is purpose-built as a (lame) plot device which is used repeatedly throughout the series. Team is losing, badly. Team acquires Snitch and wins! Much rejoicing and a gratuitous assigning of House Points to Gryffindor (no matter who won the match). Next chapter: Hermione berates Ron and/or Harry about the quality of their handwriting. (spoilers)
posted by DU at 1:15 PM on September 22, 2008 [8 favorites]


DU: Right on. Although Quidditch can be made quite good with one tiny rule change: catching the snitch scores no points -- it simply ends the game. See, that brings strategy into it. If you're losing, you can't catch the snitch. The losing seeker's job would be entirely to prevent the other seeker from catching it. It wouldn't be a bad game, actually.

But as written: lame plot device.
posted by rusty at 1:21 PM on September 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


Sure, it's fashionable now, but it'll never break the dominance of 43 Man Squamish among today's sports-mad collegiates.
posted by ardgedee at 1:28 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


JK Rowling also invented Cricket, right?
posted by Mister_A at 1:31 PM on September 22, 2008


yay Vermont!
posted by jessamyn at 1:32 PM on September 22, 2008


My first thought was, aren't college students a little old for this? Then I realized that these kids were 10 when the first Harry Potter book came out. Wow, does being unmoved by the magic mean I am old?

Also, DU is right. Worst-designed game ever. Rusty's modification is pretty good, though.
posted by doift at 1:50 PM on September 22, 2008


Everyone knows Quidditch isn't fun if you're not flying.

This is where the segways come in.
posted by clearly at 1:58 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nice use of the "virgins" tag.
posted by clearly at 1:59 PM on September 22, 2008


The virgins tag was added by some witty mutual contact. It made me laugh, so I'm leaving it.
posted by rtha at 2:01 PM on September 22, 2008


Surely there's a way to play this wearing fox and unicorn fursuits and really bring down the wrath of heaven.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:06 PM on September 22, 2008


But seriously, Quidditch is designed very poorly.

Deliberately so. I believe Rowling has said in interviews she created an absurd game on purpose as a satire of sports in general. Like a golden snitch, this flew over the heads of many.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:31 PM on September 22, 2008


Rainey Johnson, sporting a yellow shirt, yellow socks and yellow paint smeared on his face,

Harry Potter was not the first work I thought of upon reading this description.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:57 PM on September 22, 2008


I believe Rowling has said in interviews she created an absurd game on purpose as a satire of sports in general. Like a golden snitch, this flew over the heads of many.

And I believe Alanis Morissette said the song "Isn't It Ironic?" listed things that weren't actually ironic on purpose, as a satire of people who misuse irony. Still the same rain on the same wedding day.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:03 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's like raaaaaain on the big match day
It's the Bludger swing that Fred already made
It's the easy saaaaave that Ron just didn't make
And who would've thought, it figures?
posted by Tehanu at 3:25 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mister_A: Cute story about people who have never been laid, thanks.

You misunderstand... this kind of stuff, quidditch games, science fiction conventions, dorm lounge Smash Bros. sessions (and this may keep you up at night) is how geeks get laid... and it works! I know way too many couples who started dating because of social situations like this.
posted by Kattullus at 3:29 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


this kind of stuff, quidditch games, science fiction conventions, dorm lounge Smash Bros. sessions (and this may keep you up at night) is how geeks get laid

For me it was a protracted game of AD&D that went well into the night, and I failed a saving throw ... against being sexy.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:34 PM on September 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


Running full tilt at each other with brooms between your legs isn't Quidditch.

It's crotch jousting.
posted by CKmtl at 5:15 PM on September 22, 2008


The virgins tag was added by some...mutual contact.

That's not usually how it's added.
posted by DU at 5:33 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Quidditch is for wankers. Real athletes play 43-Man Squamish.
posted by adamg at 8:10 PM on September 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the memories, adamg!
posted by drezdn at 10:25 PM on September 22, 2008


I had totally forgotten about Squamish! Thank you ardgedee and adamg!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:06 PM on September 22, 2008


Lightning bolt!
posted by electroboy at 7:28 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kattullus: this kind of stuff, quidditch games, science fiction conventions, dorm lounge Smash Bros. sessions (and this may keep you up at night) is how geeks get laid

Marisa: For me it was a protracted game of AD&D that went well into the night, and I failed a saving throw ... against being sexy.


*cue Vin Diesel... or not*

Yeah, I've found science fiction convention nookie and Harry Potter nookie. (Both very satisfying, thank you.)

But consider, is it any worse to come together over a shared sense of the absurd or a shared hobby than over a shared singles bar?
posted by clauclauclaudia at 4:28 PM on September 23, 2008


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