With a new Harry Potter sequel play currently performing in London and with a new prequel film series starting in November, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World is conjuring more excitement than ever. Having always hosted a number of Muggle (or No-Maj) enthusiasts, Huntsville is now home to the Rocket City Quidditch Club. As the club is recruiting members and is getting set for a lot of great competition with regional cities, we spoke with President and Founder Jared Legget:
What was your first introduction to real-life Muggle Quidditch?
Freshman year at West Virginia University. One of the Resident Assistants, decided to adapt the sport from its literary inspiration as an activity for the students in the Honors Hall. There were a significant amount of practical compromises, including a lack of hoops and the quaffle game being more like handball than that basketball / soccer hybrid that it is in the version played by teams worldwide. A few weeks later, we found YouTube videos from the World Cup 4 tournament and realized that there were official rules.
Has Huntsville’s reputation as a geeky city help spur interest in the team and league?
The city really seems to pride itself on its reputation as a geeky city, and having MSFC and the US Space & Rocket Center here certainly does not degrade that. I’ve visited various places around town including the breweries, the comic book shops, and the athletic facilities and it was obvious that this town deserves a Quidditch team.
What’s one thing about Muggle Quidditch as a real sport that would surprise a newbie?
While we do not fly on brooms, this sport still has plenty of magic in it. Matches can be incredibly competitive, and the fact that Quidditch is a co-ed sport. Like the wizarding world portrayed in the books, the world of Quidditch is quite vibrant if just beyond the gaze of most No-Maj (the American term for muggles).
If Wizarding sports are shown in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movies, what differences do you think there will be?
In “Quidditch Through the Ages,” it’s stated that Quidditch has not really caught on in the US because of the Puritans. Instead, American wizards and witches tend to play a sport called “Quodpot,” which is described as a “variant of Quidditch” where the quaffle, renamed as the quod, is enchanted to explode randomly and the participants essentially play hot-potato with the quod and try to get it into a pot.
If you had to put the personality of Huntsville into one of the Hogwart’s houses, which one would we be sorted into?
I’ve met people who definitely would belong to each of the Hogwarts Houses here in Huntsville. You’ve got the people who are simply out to boldly go where none have gone before – your Griffindors. There are those who want to explore new worlds and new life and civilizations – your Ravenclaws. There are those who are more down to Earth and interested in making our day-to-day life easier and more pleasurable – your Hufflepuffs. Last, but certainly not least, there are those with the ambition to do what has never been done before – your Slytherins. Huntsville has got them all and has incorporated them complementarily.
For more information on the Rocket City Quidditch Club, find them on Facebook or visit them as they meet every Sunday from 4 to 6PM at Rocket Republic.