University Quidditch player goes international

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Daniel Daugherty, an assistant captain of the BG Quidditch team, throws a Quaffle successfully into one of three goals.

Reporter and Reporter

Junior Daniel Daugherty has been selected for the reserve team of the Olympic Expo games in Oxford, England, and could face the best Quidditch players in the world. ‬

Daugherty, a criminal justice major, is one of more than 200 people nominated to play in the games, of which 21 were selected to play in the Expo games and 21 made the reserve team, he said. ‬

Daugherty is fourth on the reserve team, making him the 11th best male “Chaser” in the country.‬

The sport of Quidditch has been transformed from an idea in a mother’s mind, to the magical world of the Harry Potter novels, to the “Muggle” or un-magical folks’ world. ‬

The “un-magical” are adopting some of the magic out of the wizarding world and applying it to the real world, working around obstacles such as flying broomsticks and bewitched playing balls, to create “Muggle Quidditch.” ‬

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, said “Quidditch” is a semi-contact sport played by witches and wizards, according to the first book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”‬

Matches are played between two teams of seven players riding flying broomsticks, using four balls (one “Quaffle,” two “Bludgers” and “The Golden Snitch”), and six elevated ring-shaped goals, three on each side of the Quidditch field, according to Rowling.‬

According to the International Quidditch Association’s website, Middlebury College in Vermont founded “Muggle Quidditch” and the sport gained popularity among schools around the world. ‬

Daugherty said he thinks it’s pretty crazy that a guy from Middlebury College thought of this game and figured out how to transform “Quidditch” from the books to real life and expand it so quickly.‬

Daugherty has played on the University “Quidditch” team for three semesters, almost since its founding four semesters ago. ‬

His interest in the sport was sparked when the former captain and founder of the team, Alexis Moody, invited Daugherty to come to a practice. ‬

“I have always been a huge Harry Potter fan,” Daugherty said. ‬

Moody nominated Daugherty for the Expo games because of her confidence in his ability to win, compete and be a good sport in every game.

“The main reason I nominated him was because I knew he had a shot at being selected and that he really wanted it,” Moody said.

Daugherty plays “Chaser” which means he is one of the offensive players who tries to score the “Quaffle,” or volleyball, through one of the three hoops that are guarded by the “Keeper.” ‬

On defense are the “Beaters,” who try and hit the “Chasers” with a dodgeball, which would cause the “Chasers” to run back to the hoops. At the same time, the “Seekers” are trying to catch the “Snitch,” or grab the tennis ball in a sock, attached to a volunteer runner dressed entirely in yellow. ‬

Daugherty’s friend Holly Hemminger said she had never seen anything like Quidditch before and that it felt like she was watching many different sports at once.

According to J.K. Rowling, catching the snitch results in the end of the game and 150 points would be awarded to the team who caught the “Snitch.” ‬

Daugherty said he enjoys “Quidditch” because of its uniqueness. ‬

“It’s competitive, yet the majority of the players are Harry Potter fans so it is more of a friendly competition compared to other sports,” Daugherty said. ‬

In case he does go to the Expo games, Daugherty has began to train by doing the “Insanity” fitness program, practicing with the team and running. ‬

Daugherty wants the opportunity to meet other “Quidditch” players from around the world to learn their views on the game and compare experiences. ‬

The Expo games will be played July 8 and 9 and should be televised, but if not it will be live-streamed online at internationalquidditch.org, Daugherty said.‬