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Muggle Quidditch not just for Harry Potter fans

Players emphasize inclusiveness and diversity of Syracuse Quidditch, which they hope will be SU's next official club sport.

Every Sunday at Syracuse University since spring 2009, the field by the Women’s Building becomes a magical place.

Players line up across the field from each other in front of three hoops made from PVC pipe and duct tape to play Quidditch, a sport popularized by the Harry Potter franchise.

“Muggle Quidditch is mixture of dodge ball, a little rugby, soccer and also tag,” said player Bonnie Kong. “It’s a great game to join because it combines so many sports.”

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Syracuse Quidditch has grown over the years, says Joey DiStefano, a team captain. “We used to get maybe 15 people, but this year, we’ve gotten more than 30 people because we’ve been advertising a lot more.”

You can find Syracuse Quidditch on Facebook and Twitter. Fliers around campus also advertise the sport.

Kong and DiStefano emphasize that the team is inclusive, made up of students from different majors and disciplines at SU and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. They encourage people to come to the field and play. Games start at 1 p.m. and last until the Snitch, a neutral player, is caught, which could be anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Drew Shields, a captain and co-founder of Syracuse Quidditch, said he has not read the Harry Potter books. “I got into this game because I liked the sport, and I got to meet new people.”

Shields said Quidditch is a competitive and full-contact sport, but he added, “We’re all friends out here, so it never gets really aggressive.”

DiStefano said Syracuse Quidditch is filing paperwork to become an official SU club sport. “If all goes according to plan, then we will hopefully be an official club sport by next school year.”

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