MSNBC Talks Quidditch with USQ’s Katie Stack
MSNBC contributor Rob Simmelkjaer recently discussed the many different aspects of Muggle Quidditch with membership and finance director of US Quidditch (USQ) Katie Stack. The two kicked off the interview by talking about the history of the sport and how it has quickly evolved into the popular sport that it is today. Stack tells Simmelkjaer how the sport began in 2005. She states,
A couple kids loving the Harry Potter books decided to put together a game that they could play themselves, as Muggles without magic. And it really just spread from there.
Stack then goes on to discuss the variety of people who choose to participate. There are those who love the Harry Potter books, looking to feed their obsession after the end of the series. On top of that, you have the ones who were athletes in high school, looking for something new to try out in college – who may or may not have read even a single page of Harry Potter. Quidditch, being the inclusive sport it is, happily welcomes anyone and everyone.
Similar to Quidditch in the series, Muggle Quidditch is a dangerous sport to participate in. It is the only organized sport in the entire world that is both full contact and gender integrated.
Simmelkjaer questioned Stack about whether there is a difference in how male and female players are physically treated on the field. Stack replied,
We would say the major difference is size rather than gender because we often do have really large, strong women playing on the field while we have smaller and maybe more agile men. And so our important rule is our excessive force rule.
This is defined in the USQ Rulebook as:
When a player exceeds by far the necessary use of force to complete an action initiated and as a result is in danger of injuring an opponent.
Stack explained that they ensure that the referees in each match understand which circumstances would be “excessive force” and that this rule is fairly enforced for both male and female players.
Simmelkjaer and Stack also discussed the future of the sport. There has been a growth in the number of young professional Quidditch players joining or creating community teams in the past few years. The players who have been playing from the very beginning in their college years have graduated, causing them to search out other ways to stay involved in the sport.
Do you play on a college or community Muggle Quidditch team? Or do you hope to in the future? Tell us in the comments below!