By: CHRISTINE AIKEN
Where have the Bludgers and Snitches gone? You will no longer find them at IU South Bend. The Quidditch team has made the decision to disband after a long and successful run.
IUSB was the first IU campus to have a Quidditch team. In the beginning, there were two intramural teams that joined as one. The club got their first taste of serious competition in the fall of 2012, which was their first time competing at the Midwest Regionals. They also competed at Midwest Regionals in the fall of 2013.
Senior and four-year Quidditch veteran Amy Bartkowiak recalls the biggest success for the team in its history.
“We got a call in March of 2014 that said that one of the Midwest teams had dropped out of World Cup and, even though we only had ten days, we accepted the bid,” she said. “We raised over $3,000 in that ten days to be able to afford the trip down to North Myrtle Beach. We played against some really tough teams. It was when we realized that we were, in fact, a really small school.”
She said IUSB had about 12 to 14 people able to go to a tournament at any given time. At larger schools, they often have two teams, one of which they hold tryouts for. In doing so, they can have a full roster of 21.
Quidditch is a running-intensive sport which involves grappling and tacking, making it very easy to get hurt if a player is not careful. While you have seven players on the field, having substitutes is critical.
Bartkowiak added, “IUSB has some great athletes, but we don’t have the people to sub in and out. We exhausted ourselves and played through injuries often.”
In addition to this, time is a luxury IUSB students lack, because it is mainly a commuter campus. Many players work on weekends and cannot sacrifice a paycheck to attend a Quidditch tournament. Bartkowiak, one of the team’s beaters, personally felt the effects of these constraints.
“Running our tournament this past fall was one of the most stressful experiences of my college career, and there was schoolwork that I did not get done to make sure that the tournament was run successfully,” she said. “Realizing that I could not run this club my senior year, I decided to step down and focus on school and my job.”
She is doubtful that Quidditch will be picked up again this semester. They will be finding a place for the equipment along with some money left in the team bursar account should anyone else be interested in taking the club in a new direction.