The blue-clad team is lined up side by side, eyes closed. Brooms lay on the ground.
The “snitch” runs away to hide. The referee screams “Brooms Up!” and the Quidditch match begins.
Kelder Monar, the team’s seeker and a junior at UNC, runs after the snitch while holding a broom between his legs.
His $3 game broom, a 3-foot-long regulation broom from a magic shop, is decorated with lime green and silver duct tape and spray painted light blue. The handle is bamboo, making it lightweight and easy to carry.
“Neither one of my brooms (practice or game-day) is comparable to a Nimbus 2000, or Firebolt, or a Cleansweep or a Comet or any other kind of non-Muggle broom,” Monar said, referring to broom models in a sport played by flying witches and wizards in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. “They just don’t fly.”
Students playing “Muggle Quidditch,” or Quidditch for non-wizards, is a phenomenon which began in 2005 as an intramural sport at Middlebury College in Vermont and only recently reached Chapel Hill.
A group of Harry Potter fans and Quidditch aficionados started UNC’s team, “The Old Well Wizards,” this fall and proved their worth when they beat N.C. State in October by a score of 160-70.
The team will take on Duke University, N.C. State and UNC-Greensboro this weekend and they said they hope to maintain their winning streak.
“We have a lot of talented players, so we’ll definitely take the win once again,” freshman Erica Konczal said. “Duke looked awful, weak and pathetic,” at a tournament last week, she said.