20 May 2015
The University of the Sunshine Coast’s Quidditch team has earned a place in sporting history by making the final of Australia’s first official university Quidditch tournament last Sunday.
USC was outgunned by a much stronger University of Western Sydney team, but clawed back some pride by capturing the elusive “golden snitch” in the dying moments of the match to make the final score 60-30.
Quidditch is a ground-based version of the high-flying fictional game made famous by the Harry Potter book series by JK Rowling.
The grand final match between the USC ‘Dementors’ and the UWS ‘Ducks’ can be viewed here.
Quidditch was one of four developing sports – along with dodgeball, softball social 7s and 3x3 basketball – included in Australian University Sport’s (AUS) inaugural Unibattle carnival on the Gold Coast last weekend.
About 200 students from across the country took part in the friendly but competitive weekend of sport that AUS has added to its well-established University Games program.
USC’s Quidditch League president Alise Thomas said the carnival gave her team its first taste of how physical the game could be, with players responding well to the challenge.
“Our team came to the tournament never having played a competitive game together and it was also the first time we’d played with physical contact,” she said. “Our first match was against UWS, which has people who play for Australia, so it was a bit of a shock.
“However, we very quickly learned how to play the game in this manner and our players soon gravitated to the positions on the field that suited them the best.”
Ms Thomas said although USC was not victorious overall, it relished becoming the first Quidditch team from Queensland to beat an interstate side when it defeated Australian National University during the Unibattle fixtures.
She said teams of USC Quidditch players compete in a local semester-long tournament held every Wednesday afternoon at the University’s rugby field.
— Terry Walsh