Inside Quidditch: an interview with Chris Rhodes

By Jordan Puyear |

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Christopher Rhodes in action.

When did you start Quidditch, and why? How did you start the team at Flagler? 

I started Quidditch during the first semester of my Freshmen year, because I heard it was a great sport that was sweeping the world. I started it by myself by building up reports and budgets and meeting with the Student Government Association, who than allowed us, my team, to become a sports club. We started as a special interest group, though. We’re slowly but surely growing.


What do you wish everyone knew about Quidditch?

I honestly wish people just went on their computers and looked it up. I mean actually look it up, not find stupid videos of it on YouTube. There are serious athletes, including ourselves, out there. There are 350+ teams internationally. Quidditch is played in stadiums. There are World Cups that people travel internationally for, and they aren’t all Harry Potter nerds. This sport is growing and I guarantee you, it’ll be on your television screens in the future.


Can you briefly describe the rules and the goal of Quidditch to those who are not familiar with the game?

Quidditch is a sport that many people know from Harry Potter. If we are going to tell this story properly, know that this sport, although it’s roots are from the Harry Potter series, have nothing to do with it.

Quidditch is a full contact sport that allows any gender to play. Quidditch is very rough in the sense that full tackles are allowed and protection such as guards or pads are not required. If you play Quidditch it’s because you want to prove yourself bigger than what you are. We’ve all had dreams, and those of us who are playing are following them.

Sorry, I went off on a tangent, but basically the main ball is the Quaffle, which is essentially a deflated volleyball. The main goal is for the chasers to score the Quaffle into one of three hoops. To do this, the chasers must get passed beaters who carry their game ball, the Bludger.

The Bludger is a kickball that can be thrown at Chasers in order to “Knock them off of their broom.” That being said, yes, there are brooms, but it’s not silly so much as another challenge to the game. If a Chaser is hit with a Bludger they are sent back to their hoops, where they touch them and come back into play.

Finally, there are Keepers, who are your goalies, guess what they do. Then there is your snitch. The snitch is not technically a game ball, but a person with a tennis ball connected to their back. They dress in all yellow and are neutral when it comes to which team they are on. They have no rules and can run anywhere they want to. Snitches have been known to scale buildings. The Seeker’s job is to chase them down. Who ever catches the Snitch is awarded 30 points and that’s how the game ends.

Chris and his team


What has been your best and worst experience with Quidditch?

My best experience has to be the fact that people actually joined. I know that sounds terrible, but if you stand in my shoes, I was afraid of people succumbing to peer pressure. Now, my worst experience has to be when others are arrogant enough to say that it isn’t a real sport. Especially when they decide to be verbal about it during our practices or through social media.


How do you respond to the haters of Quidditch, or the people who say that Quidditch is not a real sport?

I just tell them to back off. I proceed to tell them that our sport in many ways is tougher than football, which, at some point even football was mocked. This sport will grow. And honestly, only brave men and women play it, it is an actual gladiator sport.


What do you think about the new rise in Quidditch, such as the IQA?

The IQA is the International Quidditch Association, there are subunits known as USQ or United States Quidditch. To be frank, Quidditch is growing rapidly. I think it’s a great thing happening. I just hope they stick to the roots as they move up. There are even donations in the millions being given to these associations. The more you know.


 What have you gained from Quidditch?

I’ve gained a sense of community. I’ve gained more knowledge on how to lead and I’ve gained a new family.


What do you hope both players and yourself will take away from Quidditch?

I hope that my players and I will take away that if you want something bad enough, it can happen. It’s all in the drive; never stop chasing your dreams.


What are your hopes for Quidditch after you have graduated?

My hopes is that it stays alive. I hope that the coaches and players after me stick with it and don’t abandon it. I hope that they keep the name, the Flagler Phoenixes. I hope that they make it all the way to the World Cup.


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