This weekend at Skidmore, a sporting event is being held that many people don’t know about. The newly named squad, The Skidmore “Manticores,” will be hosting the first ever “Man-Eaters Cup,” a Quidditch tournament. Ten teams, including Skidmore, will be in attendance and it’s guaranteed to be one of the biggest tournaments the region has ever held. For many reasons, Quidditch has not latched on at Skidmore as it has at other schools. Many people don’t know that the top teams in the nation are Texas A&M, LSU, BU, Baylor, and other Division I sports schools. When a school has top tier athletes, an athletic program second to none, and a massive student body, they wind up with some of the best Quidditch teams in the nation. But at Skidmore, the majority of our players are pint sized, we couldn’t compete with the ex-D1 football players from the University of Texas. Though this team has heart, and skill; the Manticore’s came in second last year at the University of Vermont Tournament, first at Vassar, and runner-up to RPI last October in the “Battle of Saratoga.”
So, why should people care about Quidditch? At face value it’s nerds on brooms running around looking like idiots. It’s a sport for people who can’t play real sports; people who have trouble making friends; people who don’t fit in. Right? Well, no, and if this is what you think about Quidditch you couldn’t be more wrong. The Manticore’s currently field three ex-high school football players, a plethora of former Soccer players, the starting catcher for Skidmore’s own Softball team, and exchange students from three different countries. If you truly believe only nerds play Quidditch, I dare you to look at the 6’5, 240 pound Keeper from Emerson in the eye and tell him that. Everyone has a place on the island of misfit toys, not just Quidditch players.
Whatever sport you played in high school and before, I promise Quidditch encompasses the same element. It’s a wild, wacky, full contact sport, which attracts athletes from all corners of the sporting world. There is throwing, catching, dunking, charging, kicking, tackling, wrapping, and blocking. The majority of whom join, never look back. Quidditch is a full contact, co-ed sport, challenging anyone notion that girls can’t play contact sports. The women on Skidmore’s Quidditch team are fiery, hard-nosed players who are never afraid to throw their bodies against an opposing player. Once people work up the courage to play they always come back. Why? Because we love Quidditch. Skidmore Quidditch has become a family: a tight knit group of friends who could not be more different except for our love of this crazy sport. Ask any rookie and they’ll tell you that once you join Quidditch, you feel like a family.