By Alison and Caroline Murtagh
Fantasy may soon collide with reality at Andover High School, thanks to the introduction of a magical new club: the Quidditch Team.
Adapted from the sport in the popular Harry Potter series, the game is now played at certain colleges and high schools throughout the world. Katherine Perakis, a sophomore at AHS, is spearheading a campaign to bring Quidditch to Andover. Her friend first thought of the idea several weeks ago while talking in chorus to other Harry Potter enthusiasts. Perakis explains that “the idea was kind of a fandom thing.”
The game consists of two teams, each flying on broomsticks to score points by throwing a magical “Quaffle” into hoops on either end of a field. The game ends when the “golden snitch” is caught, a tiny flying ball worth 150 points. Unfortunately, because we are a school of “Muggles” — or non-magical people — the sport requires a few adaptations. Instead of flying, players travel across the field by running on broomsticks. In addition, the golden snitch is a person who must be tagged.
Because of these changes, Perakis says that players will “have to be able to run really fast. The game also requires coordination because you need to hold on to the broom and catch things at the same time.” She has several players in mind for a few of the positions on her team, but the club will be open to anyone who wants to try out.
Along with uniting Potter fans throughout the school, the idea has also allowed Perakis to explore the process of creating a club.
When students have an idea for a new club, they must discuss it with Vice Principal Seide, who is in charge of the clubs at AHS. “As long as it follows the values of our school and isn’t something that we already have, I will go ahead and give you the green light to find a faculty adviser,” he said. The faculty adviser helps students to pick a time and meeting spot. When clubs travel outside the school grounds, the adviser ensures that students complete the necessary forms.
While there is no minimum number of students required to join in a club, Mr. Seide explains that a club’s growth is usually a natural process as people gain and lose interest. “Once you have the faculty adviser in place, we let it grow organically. If a club is struggling to get members, it tends to fade. On the other hand, the really successful clubs will continue to grow.”
While Perakis is currently in the process of finding a faculty adviser to support the Quidditch team, she remains optimistic about the club’s future. She plans on eventually bringing her team to local matches and tournaments. “I really hope that it becomes recognized as an actual sport like football or soccer or swim and dive,’ she says. ‘I hope it is taken seriously.”
If Perakis is successful in finding an adviser, she will finally be able to bring blue and gold to the world of Harry Potter as the Warriors look to dominate the Quidditch pitch.