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Hopkins Quidditch Team wins second annual Charm City Classic

By JESSICA COHEN | November 29, 2012

The Hopkins Quidditch team won their second annual Charm City Classic tournament last Sunday, Nov. 18. With a total of six Quidditch teams from different Baltimore schools, the tournament ended at 7 p.m. after 16 games. Hopkins beat Franklin and Marshall College by a score of 130 to 40 in the championship game.

“Overall, our team played very well at the tournament,” junior JT Schafer, Quidditch team treasurer, said. “Our tournament director did an amazing job running the tournament, coordinating with teams, refs and snitches, and making sure we had appropriate emergency services available. Our team was started in the] Spring of 2010, but it has grown to around 35 people, and we've attended many tournaments in the mid-Atlantic area since then.”

Earlier this month, the Quidditch team attended their regional tournament and qualified for the Quidditch World Cup VI. The World Cup will be held outside of Orlando, Florida in April.

“This is the first year we have had to qualify to go to the World Cup,” junior Audrey Zeldin, Quidditch team captain, said. “In the past two years, we’ve gone, but it has been open to everyone. Recently it’s blown up, so the rules were changed so that only the top 50 teams can compete, which is impressive for us since there are about 800 teams in the U.S. This year is especially interesting, because the undefeated champion for the past few years, Middlebury College, didn’t even qualify this year.”

Zeldin explained the difficulty in getting to this year’s competition.

“In previous years, the World Cup has been held in New York, so it was relatively easy for us to attend. This year, it’s in Florida, which means we have to raise $4,000 to attend. Because of all the effort it takes to raise money, there’s really no point in going if we’re not planning on playing hard. We’ve instituted a more intense workout schedule because we only have five months to get into the best shape of our lives. Some people on the team even wake up at 7 a.m. to workout,” Zeldin said.

In an effort to fund the trip to Florida, Quidditch team members sold t-shirts and baked goods during the Charm City Classic game and organized a bake sale on the Breezeway on Friday, Nov. 16.

“Our fundraising has been going decently,” Zeldin said.  “We’ve mostly been selling shirts and doing bake sales. We had a contest between teammates to see who could sell the most t-shirts, and people got pretty into that. We’re giving the player who sells the most t-shirts this nice broom that was made specially for Quidditch games — it was a former player’s broom that he donated to the team after he left, since there’s no real use for it outside of games,” Zeldin said.

Zeldin explained that the team has already ordered a second batch of shirts.

“At the moment, we’re probably one-fourth of the way to what we need to raise. We’re also thinking about doing a ‘Kidditch’ event, where we host games of Quidditch for children and charge $10 a head. We’ve also done some birthday parties for kids in the past, and we’re thinking about setting up collection bins in grocery stores.”

Freshman John Beck, a student from Towson University who came to the Charm City Classic game to support his sister, a player for Salisbury University, noted the unique nature of Quidditch.

“I think Quidditch is really interesting, it’s like three sports mixed into one,” Beck said. “It has elements of dodgeball with the beaters, cross-country with the snitch and seekers, and handball with the chasers. But even though it has elements of so many different sports, the fact that they’re all mixed together makes it very unique. There’s nothing else like it. Towson doesn’t have a Quidditch team, but I would definitely be interested in playing if they did.”

Shafer summarized the team’s efforts to prepare for the World Cup tournament.

“We hold open scrimmages every Saturday at noon on Decker Quad,” Schafer said. “Anyone is welcome to join in and play. We also have more structured practices afterward, as well as four conditioning practices during the week for the more serious players. We are training hard to make sure we have an extremely strong showing at the World Cup,” he said.

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