From Hogwarts to Harvard
The sport of Quidditch finds a home outside the books
In the deathly hallows of the MAC Quad, the Harvard Quidditch team practices in the rain — tumbling through the mud while riding atop PVC broomsticks. Quidditch, the only coed contact sport offered at Harvard, is derived from the Harry Potter series and features a unique mix of elements from rugby, dodgeball, and handball. A Quidditch team is made up of seven athletes who carry brooms between their legs at all times. While the game can appear chaotic to the casual observer, once familiar with the basic rules, it’s exciting to watch and more exciting to play. Harvard’s team is one of 1,000 worldwide, and was founded by Stacy Rush and Alana Biden in 2009. The team practices twice a week and has regularly scheduled games as part of the Massachusetts Quidditch Conference, which includes Tufts, Boston University, Emerson, and Q.C. Boston. At the most recent Northeast Regional Championships, the Harvard Quidditch Team placed ninth in the region, and qualified for the World Cup held in April 2014 in South Carolina.
“The experiences I’ve had with the Quidditch team have been some of my favorite so far at Harvard,” said Ernest Afflu ’15. “It’s always a blast, whether we’re having a friendly scrimmage in practice or an intense game against another team. Some will find the game silly, but it’s very competitive, and a lot of fun.”
Monica Marion ’17 practices Quidditch — the only coed contact sport offered at Harvard — which features a unique mix of elements from rugby, dodgeball, and handball.
Martin Reindl ’15 (from left), Phillip Ramirez ’18, and Anthony Ramicone ’15 stretch before practice.
Ernest Afflu ’15 (left) and Martin Reindl ’15 vie for the quaffle — the name of the volleyball in Quidditch.
Ernest Afflu ’15 relaxes at practice with Maggie, the team’s canine mascot.
Martin Reindl ’15 (from left) and Phillip Ramirez ’18 stretch in front of the goal hoops, which are defended by keepers.
Rachel Gosselin ’18 (from left), Monica Marion ’17, Anthony Ramicone ’15, and Meg Knister ’17 get up for practice with all the equipment. Dodgeballs are called bludgers, and are used to hit other players, who then are out of play until they tag their goal hoops.
Rachel Gosselin ’18 (from left) and Aram Zadeh ’16 gets physical.
Zac Bathen ’17 (from left), Julia Carvalho ’14, Rachel Gosselin ’18, Aram Zadeh ’16, and Meg Knister ’17 during Quidditch practice.
Phillip Ramirez ’18 (left) and Jonathan Jackson ’15 ride their broomsticks.
Anthony Ramicone ’15 takes the quaffle to the goal.
Hank Smith ’15 (left) Martin Reindl ’15 confer during practice.
Monica Marion ’17 (left) and Phillip Ramirez ’18 (right) make a dash during Quidditch.
Phillip Ramirez ’18 (left) and Rachel Gosselin ’18 pause with their brooms.
Monica Marion ’17 holds the quaffle.
Hank Smith ’15 (from left) and Martin Reindl ’15 make some moves.
Zac Bathen ’17 takes a shot.
Monica Marion ’17 (from left), Meg Knister ’17, Phillip Ramirez ’18, and Anthony Ramicone ’15 during practice.
Cassie Lowell ’17 (from left), Ronia Hurwitz ’18, and Monica Marion ’17 wait around for the action to commence.
Anthony Ramicone ’15 and Phillip Ramirez ’18 (behind) store the hoop goals in Kirkland House.