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Quidditch casts its spell on Santa Barbara ‘Muggles’

ANNA LOGAN, Channels Staff

If you’re wondering where your extra PVC pipes have gone, they are under Santa Barbara’s Quidditch team.

The Blacktips comprises of community members and students from City College and UCSB. The game was adapted from JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter.”

Evan Bell, City College student and Blacktips captain, presented the idea for the muggle team.

“I couldn’t guarantee it, but Santa Barbara always seemed like a really accepting community and one that would be open to this kind of an idea for a sport,” said Bell. “Santa Barbara’s always really interested in new, off the beaten path kind of activities and sports, so I knew that if I actually got it started that the people would be there because of what Santa Barbara is.”

The team braces PVC pipes instead of the infamous broomsticks as they make Quidditch accessible for the human world.

Bell said the players have to have some sort of broom between their legs so that it creates a handicap for the sport.

This is just one of the ways the game is played differently than on the big screen.

“So there’s three hoops on each side like in the books and movies; you have to take a partially deflated volleyball called a quaffle and the chasers on the team which wear the white headbands have to score with the quaffle and if you get it through the front or the back of any of the hoops its ten points for that team,” Bell said.

The co-ed sport shows no mercy towards the gender roles.

“I see men and women tackling each other left and right; women taking out guys twice their size,” Bell said. “It’s really a sport just made for everyone and even if you’re not an athlete when you start, it’s a great way to become one and become more active.”

Bell said members don’t need any athletic qualifications to join the team.

“It’s really a sport just made for everyone and even if you’re not an athlete when you start, it’s a great way to become one and become more active,” Bell said. “I’ve seen people who have never picked up a ball in their life prior to quidditch and then some people who played varsity athletics in high school and college and just wanted to try something new and pick up a new sport.”

One of these students is Justin Fernandez, who played competitive sports in high school and wasn’t sure if Quidditch was the game for him.

“It was a shock actually when I decided to actually play because I never saw myself playing Quidditch,” Fernandez said. “I decided to give it a try and I’ve loved it ever since,” said Bell.

Fernandez’s love for the game cost him his tooth, and there’s no magic potion that can fix that.

Bell said the practices are open to the public and take place at 2 to 4 p.m. on Sundays and 7 to 9 p.m. on Mondays.