Hating to leave after playing only two rounds of Muggle Quidditch at the Mount Airy Library on Saturday, 10-year-0ld Kori Branch asked branch librarian Angela Llewellyn if and when another game would be held.
Then her dad piped in.
“I would really like to participate,” said Eric Hawks, explaining that an injury had benched him for Saturday’s game.
Llewellyn set a follow-up date of July 30 right then and there, and the remaining players headed back to the pitch (playing field) for another go.
Before the event, Llewellyn hadn’t been sure how much local interest there would be in the sport inspired by the Harry Potter series of fantasy novels written by J.K. Rowling.
“I’m glad they want to come back,” she said. “It’s very exciting.”
The game Saturday was scheduled as part of the library’s 2016 summer reading program, which is themed “On your mark, get set, read,” as part of a nationwide promotion tying into the upcoming summer Olympics.
The programming series features events that highlight connections between reading and sports and exercise, of which the game Saturday exemplifies.
In the Harry Potter books and movies, Quidditch is a wizarding sport played on broomsticks and is the most popular game among wizard and witches.
According to the Harry Potter page on wikia.com, a Muggle is a person who is born to two non-magical parents and is incapable of performing magic.
Muggle Quidditch is a non-magical version of the game, the rules of which are governed by organizations such as the International Quidditch Association or the U.S. Quidditch Association.
More than 100 colleges in the United States have Quidditch teams and youth leagues are popping up in larger communities as well.
“It’s growing,” said Diane Blakemore, program director at Pilot Mountain Library who served as a referee on Saturday with Autumn Blakemore, 16.
On Saturday, streamers flying from hand made goals created from hula hoops and wooden posts provided an element of whimsy and magic to the game.
“I’m amazed how, years after the books are done and the movies are finished, people are still excited about this,” said Brock Llewellyn, who installed the handmade equipment on the field.
“I’m a major Harry Potter fan,” Cora Branch said between games. “I read the entire series in four months and that was including school.”
Players on each of two teams have different roles.
To score points, “Chasers” must get the “quaffle” (a deflated soccer ball) into one of three of the opposing team’s goals.
“Keepers” are the goal protectors.
“Beaters” use “bludgers” (dodgeballs) to take out opposing players.
If any player is knocked out by a “bludger,” or takes their hand off their broomstick (pool noodle), they must drop the “quaffle” if they’re holding it, and touch their own goal post before reentering the game.
At some point during the game the “snitch” is released.
“Seekers” from both team try to catch the “snitch,” who is on neither team’s side.
Points are scored during the game and by catching the snitch, which ends the game.
“It’s a combination of many different sports, yet it’s different from any, too,” Diane Blakemore said.
On Saturday, players split off into two teams, each donning a colored headband corresponding with their position.
The “snitch” wore a gold t-shirt.
“There’s no tackling,” Llewellyn said. “This is just for funsies. This is just to get you guys to know how to play.”
The game took shape quickly.
“For a first time, they’re picking up on it pretty good,” Diane Blakemore said.
Jackie and Brandy Moser watched their daughter Abby Moser from lawn chairs in the shade.
“We’re kind of lost but it seems like they’re having a real good time,” Jackie Moser said.
“She’s having a ball,” Brandy Moser said.
With a significant height advantage over the other players, Ricky Lineman, 17, and Randy Simmons, 18, joined separate teams as “keepers,” helping the younger players and creating some fun melodrama for the competition.
“Oh no Randy has beaten me,” Lineman yelled.
Simmons said he may join the intramural team at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, which he will attend this fall.
“It really is a whole lot of fun.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.