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Students Bring Quidditch to Real Life

Darien High School students are not letting their lack of magical powers prevent them from playing Harry Potter's favorite sport of Quidditch. Instead of flying on broomsticks, students run with them between their legs and let their athleticism and love of all things "Harry Potter" make up for the fact that the game's balls are not enchanted.

"About three years ago, a group of seniors thought it would be funny to start playing Quidditch," said Sean Otterspoor, the club's faculty adviser. "They were inspired by Middlebury College , which started the official intercollegiate league."

Quidditch Club head Caroline Golino, at the annual Halloween tournament, said, "It's a huge workout, but it's a lot of fun. We have scrimmages every Tuesday where anyone can play."

While running with broomsticks, the players try to throw a ball, called the Quaffle, into one of three rings, which are guarded by the Keeper, for 10 points. While that is going on, there are other balls called Bludgers, which players can throw at whoever has possession of the Quaffle. If hit with the Bludger, the player has to drop the Quaffle.

In the books and movies, a Quidditch match ends when a player designated as a Seeker catches the Snitch, a magical golden ball that flies. In the real world, the Snitch is a person who runs and hides at the beginning of the match. The Snitch can come out whenever he or she wants, and the game ends when one of the Seekers grabs a flag from their back pocket.

The students get into the games and cheer each other on. They said they may play a match against Norwalk High's club. "We've talked about it," said student Grace Phelps. "They're really intense. Their club has about 100 people; we have about 30."

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