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When wizards meet raptors

A sport that involves chasing a ball while flying on a broomstick is the basis for one of East Ridge High School's newest clubs.

A small group of East Ridge students are attempting to form an after-school Quidditch Club that will take up the make-believe sport featured in the Harry Potter novel and film series.

The students hosted an informational meeting Wednesday, Dec. 2.

When East Ridge junior Megan Thompson first suggested the game of Quidditch to her friends, they were a bit skeptical.

"At first I was like, 'Yeah Quidditch that's magical; how are we going to do this?'" junior Natalie Arcand said. "But once you look at the rules it's a really fun game."

"Ground Quidditch" as it is called, isn't a completely new idea. Clubs at high schools and colleges across the country have been playing it for the last few years.

"It's not about Harry Potter really," Arcand said. "It's about the game."

The simple explanation of Quidditch is that it's a combination of football, soccer, hide-and-seek and tag.

"We really don't care how many people show up, we just want to play," Thompson said.

In the Harry Potter series, the Quidditch players are required to be on a broom at all times, but in the non-magical version that's optional.

"For us there's really no purpose to the broom," junior Liz Bailey said. "For them it was to fly, but we wouldn't need it obviously."

Ideally, Thompson said, they would have 30 players so they could make up the four teams from the books -- Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

Since the girls have never played Quidditch before, they said it could be difficult to actually get the team going because everyone would be a beginner.

"I really want people to come and be ready to play so it's not just chaotic," Arcand said.

The girls said there will be restrictions since it can be a very physical, aggressive game. Since there will be boys and girls playing, that could be dangerous.

"Hopefully we don't lose control of the rowdier boys," Thompson said. "It's really not going to be as physical as the rules say."

East Ridge High School Quidditch will meet Mondays after school for practice and games will be played Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students must pay $15 to join which will cover the equipment and T-shirts.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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