Quidditch: It's an actual game that muggles can play, too

- Quaffle, bludgers, golden snitch, chasers, beaters, seekers -- some know what these terms mean right away, while others have no idea. 

They're all part of Quidditch, the game that wizards and witches play in the world of Harry Potter. For more than a decade, a translated version of the game meant for muggles (non-magical people) is being played all across the world. 

"When I got my acceptance to USF, my fiancée was like, 'Hey, do you know that they have a quidditch team?'" USF sophomore Samuel King said. "I'm a Harry Potter fan, so I was really into the idea."

King is now the president of USF's Quidditch Club, which is now in its eighth season of play. On Saturday, the Bulls were hosting Florida's Finest, a community team. At first glance, the game looked like organized chaos, with balls flying all over the field. 

"The best I can describe it is the regular gameplay is a mix of dodgeball, rugby, and basketball," King said. 

Of course, the first question that's always asked: How do you fly on brooms? PVC pipes are the substitute. They must be held by players between his or her legs at all times. 

"It's a lot harder than it looks," USF Quidditch captain Amyn Ali said. "With the broom, you've got one arm stuck on your side. It slows down your speed a lot."

The rest of the game is pretty easy to understand. On each team there's a keeper, three chasers who are trying to score by throwing a volleyball into one of three rings, and two beaters armed with dodgeballs trying to stop them. Each goal is worth 10 points. 

After 18 minutes, the golden snitch -- a person carrying a tennis ball in a sock -- is released and one seeker per team tries to take the tennis ball to end the game and earn 30 more points.  

"I like the challenge of athleticism combined with making intelligent plays," said USF Quidditch alum and Florida's Finest member Tyrell Byrd. 

The game's growth can be tracked by looking at the growth of U.S. Quidditch Cup, which will have its 11th Cup in April. The first cup in 2007 had only two teams. The fourth in 2010 had 46. The upcoming cup will feature 88 teams, with two different divisions, college and community. 

At USF and other colleges, Quidditch draws both die-hard Harry Potter fans and newbies. 

"I started playing this and then watched the first movie," USF Quidditch senior Brielle Scoliere said. "I'm more of a fan because of the sport."

But for die-hards, it's like being a kid in a candy store. 

"It means the world to them," King said. "It's seeing fantasy become reality."

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