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outh west area gazette

Photograph by Lauren Carter



noun 1. apperance, style, or the way southwest quidditch players present themselves

table of contents

Featured Articles Quidditch Swimsuit Edition, 13

A Summertime magazine classic.

Start a Team, 20 A helpful basic guideline to follow for anyone interested in making their own team.

Welcome, New South West Director, 29

Becca DuPont and her message to the Southwest region.

Summer Quidditch, 31 Players coming together to practice away from their teams.

SW Reps & The Olympics, 37 Recap from our own Southwest on Team USA.

Comicpalooza, 40 When comic books and Quidditch collide.

Fantasy Quidditch, 44 Big name players to bring fantasy quidditch to life in Austin, Texas

Photograph by Lauren Carter

Cover Photograph by Rachel Ortego

Tad Walters

Tad Walters, or as the world knows him, T-Dizzle Swag Money, or “That one kid that doesn’t wear shoes” is an upcoming sophomore and starting beater at Loyola University- New Orleans. He also happens to be the Vice President of Wolf Pack Quidditch as well as the IQA Louisiana State Representative. When he’s not throwing bludgers at people or writing articles for the SWAG, he enjoys drinking Coke ICEEs, playing Ultimate Frisbee, working on puzzles that seem to always be missing a piece, and watching James Bond movies. He hopes to meet many new people in his next few years of playing Quidditch, and as you can tell from his photo, he is sexy, and he does know it.

Mollie Lensing

Mollie is another recent graduate from Texas A&M. While she attended A&M, she studied Industrial Distribution, played Quidditch (obviously), and danced for a freestyle dance organization. Mollie served as a coach, director of operations and treasurer over her time as a member of Texas A&M Quidditch. She has been to the past three World Cups, played in various tournaments in the Southwest, and most recently competed in Oxford as a member of the Team USA Quidditch Team. Currently, Mollie is working in the Houston area and planning to stay involved in Quidditch as much as she can.

Sophie Bonifaz

Sophie is a recent graduate of Rice University and is killing time until she goes to the University of York in the fall of 2013. As a founder of Rice Quidditch, the main organizer of Houston Summer Quidditch, and the current Southwest Regional Expansion Representative, she is finishing off her first year of quidditch on quite an active note. On the pitch, you might see her as a chaser or a seeker; off the pitch, she is likely either active in one of her many fandoms or perfecting the art of making tea so that she doesn’t embarrass herself next year. Sophie’s contributions to SWAG (other than providing massive amounts of the Gryffinclaw variety) include being a writer, editor, pinch photographer, and backup Photoshop guru.

Zach Godwin

Zach is a Junior at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He created the team st SWOSU after stumbling upon the amazing sport of quidditch last summer while writing a paper about the fictional form from the Harry Potter books. After a very successful first year of quidditch, Zach looks forward to carrying over his position as President on SWOSU’s team for the upcoming season. He is also the only seeker for the team, seeing as no one at SWOSU finds it entertaining to be cared about until the last couple minutes of every game. Last but not least, he is also the Oklahoma Representative for the IQA and hopes to help Oklahoma quidditch become a bigger impact nationwide.

[contri Jacob Mota

Mota is starting his Senior year at Texas Tech University. He is majoring in Exercise and Sports Science and minoring in Biology and Photography. Recently, Mota was named the new president for Tech Quidditch and looks forward to a successful year for his Sports Club. Starting on his second year on the team, he plays beater and some keeper on the pitch while constantly rooting on his fellow Red Raiders when he is off the pitch. Mota is a proud Gryffindor and contributes to SWAG as a writer.

Nichole Galle

Nichole is (sadly) a recent graduate from the wonderful and magical Texas A&M, where she studied Kinesiology and Psychology. She played chaser for A&M for almost her entire time at the University, and is a proud Hufflepuff. She has attended all three of the Texas A&M Classic tournaments, as well as World Cup V and multiple other tournaments. This past year she served as one of the coaches for A&M. She starts Physical Therapy school at TWU in the fall, and until then enjoys wasting her time on Netflix and Pinterest.

Mason Kuzmich

R yan Bowers

Ryan is a history major/ English and secondary education minor at Sam houston State University.He has played chaser/keeper for Sam Houston for the past year. He has attended various tournaments, including Breakfast Taco, World Cup 6, Lone Star Cup, and others. When not playing Quidditch he plays for the club ultimate frisbee team at Sam as well. Also enjoys making fun of Harry Potter fandom. Also he is a hufflepuff, and proud of it.

Chris McCormick

bu tors] Mason is entering his senior year at Texas A&M, where he is studying Anthropology, with a minor in Economics. He is a dedicated snitch, and plays no other position if he c an avoid it. He is currently the co-chair of the NCBA’s snitch committee, and is very active in the quidditch community, especially in the Southwest. He has been a Ravenclaw for the past three years, serving this past year as house captain. When he’s not on the pitch, he runs the Aggieland Urban Gaming Society, and works as a DJ for KANM student radio in College Station. He likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.

R achel Ortego

Rachel is a sophomore studying Communication Disorders and Photography at Louisiana State University. When asked about her orange headband, Rachel always responds with, “I play all the positions, except the ones that actually play.” Even though she does not play Quidditch she does numerous things for the team. She is the photographer, public relations officer, and cheerleader. Rachel also enjoys Star Wars, learning about dinosaurs, food, traveling, feeding animals, playing tennis, and making jewelry and other crafts.

Kathy Kavanaugh

Kathy is a junior at Texas A&M University, where she is majoring in Psychology and minoring in French and Women’s & Gender Studies, and is a writer and editor for SWAG. She is a beater who has participated in two World Cups, and is beginning her second year as public relations officer for the TAMU Quidditch team. She is a dedicated Ravenclaw, and her Doctor is David Tennant. Apart from Quidditch, Kathy enjoys reading, becoming obsessed with TV shows, and spending an embarrassing amount of time on Tumblr and YouTube.

Chris “Scarecrow” McCormick is a known Death Eater currently serving time in Azkaban Prison, where he plays for the Denver Dementors. He came into Quidditch last September but did not fully join the community until a prisoner transfer to Salt Lake lead to his escape. Since he is constantly on the run from Ministry officials, he attends several tournaments all over the nation. When he noticed his prison uniform looked exactly like a referee’s jersey, he started helping out at matches to avoid detection. He is a Dark Ravenclaw and has been known to use otherwise harmless spells with fatal effect.

Kenny Chilton

Kenny is a freshman Journalism major that humbly accepted a spot on UT’s quidditch team in Fall 2011. Since then, he bounced around positions until he discovered that he’s an alright chaser and an slightly less alright seeker. You can also see him as December in UT’s first annual Quidditch Calendar. Kenny regularly wonders if SWAG will catch on, at which point he slaps himself because that’s a really dumb question. Why else would it be called SWAG? Kenny is a contributing writer for SWAG and resident “not so necessary, but kinda funny?” comment maker.


Lauren Carter is a 4th year at the University of Texas at Austin where she studies Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her one-year of quidditch experience includes 5 Southwest tournaments, World Cup V, and countless pick-up games in Austin. Lauren’s (perhaps over eccentric) love for taking pictures landed her as a contributor to SWAG as a photographer.

Lauren Carter

Becca is starting her junior year at Texas A&M University where she is majoring in Bioenvironmental Science. She has been involved with the quidditch community for two years and has taken up the mantle of Southwest Regional Director during this past semester. Becca plays chaser for the A&M team and has attended numerous tournaments including the past two world cups. Becca belongs to the Hogwarts house with the most swag, Hufflepuff, and proudly sports the black and yellow. She is looking forward to the great things Southwest quidditch will be doing this year and can’t wait to be a part of it!

Becca Dupont

Gabriel is a recent Sam Houston graduate with a degree in Psychology and a founding member of the SHSU quidditch team. In his career, he has played Beater and Chaser in official matches. Gabe is currently working on getting in to culinary school. He is a proud Slytherin who spends most of his time either reading or in the kitchen coming up with new ideas.

Gabe Wilson 8 Swag July 2012

Photograph by Lauren Carter


Lifestyle 16l TIPS & TRICKS

Beating the heat in a Southwest Summer.


Workouts and drills taken from other sports to help our Quidditch play.

26l SNITCHES 101


South West Corner


Basic tips for the aspiring snitch from talented veteran Mason Kuzmich.


Featuring the Arkansas University Razorbacks.

Kitchen pointers and delicious recipes for Quidkids, featuring Summer Butterbeer.

An introduction to quidditch-centred words.


Team Resources


Have a laugh at these humiliating tales from the pitch.


48l Quidditch Quiz Which Avenger are you?


Drills and tips for increased agility and reaction time.

Put your own spin on this photo!

Swag LETTER FROM THE EDITOR For the last month and a half I’ve spent my lazy Sundays in the university’s library, drumming fingers along the gorgeous desktop Mac, occasionally buzzing my lips to Rusko, and hoping the labbie doesn’t catch me sipping water while creating the monster, SWAG, my new boyfriend. Through sketchy messages via Facebook, Google Docs brain vomits, and conspiring, probably, right in front of you, our classified documents have managed to transform into a superhero (find out which one you are pg 48), and I could never be prouder. Our first issue is a look at who the southwest region truly is. Beyond the summer heat, and some of our southern twangs, SWAG emphasizes on players both on and off the pitch. From health tips (pg 16), and recipes (pg 50), and even an inside view from Olympian quiddich players themselves (pg 37), this is what make this summer issue a great read for the beach, your summer job, or on your way to The Fantasy Tournament (pg 44). A closer look at the development of this magazine: I just got off the phone with a few of my teammates. I’ve demanded they meet me this

July 2012

volume 1 Number 01

Sunday afternoon at Pritchett field, in swimsuits, with broomsticks. No one questions the president. I’ve offered cookies for skill to most of my contributors (some of them just prefer to work for free), and I believe I’ve now trained a number of now lethal assassin spies in your quidditch region. Whether that is impressive or frightening, we will find out. If I could string a ‘thank you’ banner across the entire southwest region I would. From Louisiana to New Mexico, I thank all of you for investing time, effort, and curiosity into our magazine. Without readers…well, it wouldn’t be as fun. To my editors and contributors, you all are the best cheer leaders anyone could have. You even made a tinychat for our release! I can’t express my gratitude enough and expect a rainbow variety of cookies at the next tournament. Lastly, my thanks to Sophie “Black Widow” Bonifaz. If you hadn’t challenged me to do this (because you know I love a challenge), I’d probably still be watching anime all summer. - Brandi Cannon, Editor-in-chief



Photograph by Lauren Carter

noun 2. the way in which a quidditch player or team lives

12 Swag July 2012

SouthWest Quidditch: Swimsuit Special Photograph by Brandi Cannon Written by Chris McCormick

No School All Swimsuits Temperatures are high everywhere in the United States this summer and especially so in the Southwest. With temperatures soaring, Southwesterners are tempted to hide indoors. Many choose to do so while still keeping productive by taking up a summer job. Local fast food restaurants have swelled with players home for the summer who are looking to make some extra money to help finance their travel expenses. However, with these summer jobs comes with the temptation to eat the junk food they’re serving, and ultimately most people will give in to their cravings. When that happens, it’s time to set out for what for most is the least fun summer activity: hard work. Summer provides many unique opportunities for keeping yourself in shape that other seasons do not. Take advantage of the heat and keep cool by enjoying some water sports. Swimming and kayaking, for example, will keep you fit and are a blast. If you’re a more “down to earth” kind of person, hiking, camping, and rock climbing are all adven-

tures that are unique to the summer months. Remember, exercising releases endorphins, which make you feel good, and who doesn’t want that? With so many exciting opportunities to keep physically active, it’s no wonder that Becca DuPont has dubbed us the “Sexy Southwest”. There are many people within the region who have pushed themselves throughout the year to either earn, or keep, a swimsuit body. Their hard work has honed their minds as well as their bodies, making them some of our most skilled players and best strategists. It goes nearly without saying that they are all lovely people to talk to as well, and are always willing to help out a Quidditch player in need. With that in mind, I set out to find some of these people and to uncover some of their secrets.


Mollie Lensin

s definitely earned Mollie Lensing ha lf these past three a name for herse r one of A&M’s sta years playing as ng on rki wo s ay alw is beaters, and n find her in the her game: you ca ek doing cardio we a es tim gym 3-4 stay in shape. to ts and lifting weigh r own food, and She also cooks he ol her portions so ntr co to makes sure until she’s 75% full. that she only eats

After three ye ars of playin g for LSU, Sa Kneiling is kn rah own as one of region’s be beaters. It’s im st portant to her to eat whene and whatever ver she wants, an d m exercises regu akes sure she larly - and whe n she says re ularly, she mea gns regularly. Ev en her cowor ers have gotte kn used to seei ng her stretch an exercise in he d r spare time. She keeps co and has fun du ol ring the summ er by swimmin g.

Sarah Kne


13 Swag July 2012

tile member of SHSU Adam Bell is a versa played as keeper, s ha d an Quidditch ring his first year du er chaser, and seek ble rks out every possi in the sport. He wo d makes an , me ga the for day to stay fit as and run as much sure to play soccer day for him er mm su ct rfe pe he can. A ing. g and wake board would have runnin

Nick Sem


Adam Bell

Jordan Ro


Rice Univers ity was luck y to have Nic k Semon play as chaser an d seeker for its first year, and he is certainly looking forwar d to the second. He keep s in shape by running and playing othe r sports, such as softball, soccer, and flo or hockey. He also likes to sp end his summer nights ex ploring parks.

Steven A. Gergen

Jordan Rom ero is a recent graduate from Colorado State Uni versity. She spent her first year playing chaser, and keeps fit for next season by riding bikes and going long-distance running. When she’s not playing quidditch, sh e likes to spend her su mmer hours drinking tea an d reading.

Steven A Gergen has played as a chaser and seeker for Loyola New Orleans for the past two years. His best summer days include going to the beach to grill and fish, and heading to the park for frisbee and picnics. He stays fit for quidditch by running in the park and doing exercises like bear crawls, burpees, sit-ups, pullups, push-ups, and mountain climbers.

Some tips and tricks to a healthy and fun summer vacation!


Written by Kenny Chilton

DRINK WATER. Of course, the first and arguably the most important tip would be to drink plenty of water. It cools off the body and replenishes all that lovely sweat that leaves your body when you play Quidditch. Drinking before, during, and after exercise helps prevent dehydration. In the southwest heat, one can easily start feeling the symptoms like dry mouth, dizziness and fatigue and even fainting. Extreme cases can result in heat illnesses that can damage internal organs. The importance of the ever faithful H20 cannot be stressed enough.

16 Swag July 2012


Photo by Lauren Carter

Know your limits. While it’s great to push yourself to become better during workouts and practices, everyone has a physical limit. It’s okay to take breaks, and people do get tired. Overexercising can cause exhaustion, muscle and bone damage. Always take at least one day a week off to recuperate. Don’t kill yourself before you can even get into the game.


Plan your activity for early morning or in the evening. Let’s be real, high noon in the Southwest summer isn’t the ideal time to stay cool during a workout. Set that alarm for before 10 AM and roll out of bed or just wait until dusk. There’s no point in increasing your risk factor by running around while the sun beats down on top of you. Remember - heat exhaustion and stroke are more likely to happen during the peak heat hours of the day, between noon and five PM.

Photo by Will Michels

Photo by Brenda Gottsabend


Protect yourself from the sun. Believe us when we say that there is no amount of UV rays that is good for your health. Find some shade during your water breaks and make sure to take 10-15 minute breaks for every hour you’re in the sun and never for more than two straight hours. Some SPF 30 or higher, sweat proof, sunscreen is a good investment for everyone, regardless of skin tone, because the sun does not discriminate. The lighter your skin tone, the higher SPF you want, but dishing out the $10 for sunscreen is definitely worth it.

Photo by Thomas Quine

Tips & Tricks

Cross train. While playing Quidditch is probably the first priority in your life, getting out of the sun and onto a basketball court or into a pool can significantly reduce your risk of being affected by the heat. With temperatures already reaching into the triple digits, it’s beneficial to use cross training as a way to escape the heat and get some air conditioning.


Photo by Jim Bahn

[ Quidditch Crossover ]


Written by Ryan Bowers

ello all, and welcome to the Quidditch Crossover. As it is usually 1st drill - Toss Drill described to new players, QuidThis exercise comes from Ultimate Frisbee •It is a high intensity workout, which means it alternates between your heartbeat rising then going back to ditch is a mix of different sports. normal. What this article aims to do is take •High intensity workouts work well for losing weight and/or getting used to performing a certain action while tired. ideas, strategies, training and practice drills, etc. and apply them This drill is done in pairs. Players toss a quaffle or bludger to each other, with each player making to Quidditch. Each issue I will focus on a different ten completed passes. Minimum distance should be 10-15 feet; however this can be lengthened aspect of other sports. For this issue, I will take to increase difficulty. After twenty throws have been made, players do a form of exercise together. These can be anything from a number of push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, burpies, squats, or leg some well-known training drills and show how they lifts, or it can be a timed set of bicycles, toe jumps, or planking. For best results, add in a sprint can help you to get in better shape for the upcominstead of exercise for every other one. The sprint can be up a small hill, or across a field. Below ing season while improving in the areas you want. you can see a chart that further illustrates how this exercise is done. These are drills you can do either by yourself or in a small group, with minimal equipment needed. 10 throws 10 throws 10 throws 10 throws 10 throws 10 throws If you have questions or comments about something you see or don’t see here, feel free to email me at and I will do my best to answer your questions satisfactorily.



Leg Lifts




•If you want to make the drill harder, stand farther back from each other, or lead your partner a couple of steps in either direction with each throw.

2nd drill - Closeout Drill

This exercise comes from Basketball

•It is mainly used to teach zone defense, it also works on backside help defense and maintaining position on player without losing sight of what is going on around you. •This drill works best for keepers and chasers, helping you to defend the three goals from opposing players while being able to keep everything in front of you and being able to follow the quaffle wherever it is passed to without turning your body completely.

There are different ways of doing this drill but the best way I have found to work for Quidditch is to set up 3 to 4 cones in a half circle, 5-10 yards apart. The person shuffles feet from one cone to the next, then back all the way to the first cone. Repeat going as quickly as possible for 45 seconds to a minute and a half. The important step is to go as quickly as you can.

•If you are having trouble picturing how this drill should be set up, type in video: basket ball drills closeout and watch the first video in the list by expertvillage. Just imagine setting up the cones in a half circle around the three hoops •For variation and a better workout, this drill requires 4 people. Have 3 people each stand on a specific cone, about 3 to 4 feet off, where the person running the drill can see them. The 3 people pass a ball back and forth between them, and the person shuffling must move quickly to whichever cone the ball is passed to. This creates a live action sequence of following the path of a quaffle being passed back and forth as chasers look for a hole to score.

3rd drill - Shuttle Runs/Suicides

This exercise comes from Basketball/Soccer

•Works on building endurance, but also builds speed and agility. When cutting focus on making one stop cuts at each cone, rather than slowing down and chopping feet or sliding. Motoring down your movement is best in something like this, and will improve your cutting in the game.

Set up 4 to 8 cones 5 yards apart in a straight line. You can do this exercise by yourself or as a group. Run to the first cone, touching it with your fingers, then back to the start, touching that cone with your fingers, then to the second cone, then back, and so on until you have touched every cone and come back to the start. Each person should finish 3-4 sets of runs.

•Rest in between should be as close as possible to the same amount of time it takes you to finish one set. If in a group, run it relay style, while taking a short break once everyone has gone once. •A good variation to do is have someone not running the drill call out a number, then the person running must go to that numbered cone, run back, then another number is called, and so on.

Example: 5 cones - 3 is called, player runs to cone 3 and back, 5 is called, player runs to cone 5 and back, 2 is called, player runs to cone 2 and back, and so on. In this drill run to the same amount of cones as there are set up, however you can choose to run to the same cone multiple times.

Photo by Will Michels

•Another variation is to have someone stand at each ending cone. Player running receives a pass from player standing at the end at the first cone, carries it and passes it quickly to person at the start line. Ball is tossed back to other person, where they pass it to the runner at the next cone. Ball is carried back to start and passed back, and so on.

Ma d e in A m e r ica

quiyk Worn around the world


Photograph by Lauren Carter

R esources noun 3. a source of quidditch supplies, support, or aid, especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed.


Destination, Determination & Deliberation: Starting a Quidditch Team, School Edition Written by Sophie Bonfiaz

You’ve made an important decision. Maybe you’ve seen the pictures. Maybe you have a friend who plays. Maybe you’ve been to a Quidditch practice or match and fell in love. Maybe you were on a team and had to move to a location without one. Whatever the reason, you want to play Quidditch so much you’re willing to start a team. As a fellow founder, I applaud you, my friend. You are about to embark on quite the journey. But what does it mean to start a team? In theory, it sounds fairly basic: get the equipment, get some people, and start practicing. Soon enough, your team will be full of attractive, athletic players stealing the hearts of Quidditch lovers the world over and winning every tournament ever. Easy as mounting a broom, right? I would love to say, “right”, but unfortunately I can’t. There are many things to consider when starting a team, and while winning the World Cup in your awesome jerseys might be one of your ultimate goals, it’s important to start small and take the process step by step. It’s a daunting task, but fret not! This is the first of a two-part series that is aimed to help people get a better idea of what it means to start a Quidditch team, and can be used as a supplement for the upcoming how-to guide the IQA is working on. Remember, you have the support of the Quidditch community, be the teams near or far, and we want you to succeed, so if you’re ready to learn how to brew glory, keep reading.

Photograph by Lauren Carter

Swag July 2012 21

School Paperwork School teams have the distinct advantage and disadvantage of having to rely to an extent on the school bureaucracy for their existence. At first, going through the paperwork might look tedious and unnecessary - just get some equipment and find an empty field! - but if your team ever intends to travel, get swag with the school’s name on it, or recruit at activity fairs, among other important things, completing the proper paperwork is vital. Every school is different: some only have clubs, some have clubs and sports, some divide sports up into club sports and intramural (IM) sports, etc. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn what options are available to you and the process for each one. Choose the option that provides the most benefits with the least amount of stress and is the most realistic. For example, don’t pick the IM sports option if that requires multiple teams to play each other; not only do you need to have enough people and equipment to do this, your team has to have an organizational system in place and everyone needs to know how to play. Most new teams won’t be ready to do this right away. Dream big, yes, but be pragmatic as well. Most clubs and sports in school systems will need a constitution, which details the team’s policies on membership dues, electing officers, delegating officer duties, and other important club procedures. Try to keep things simple at first; you can always update and improve upon it later. Ask other Quidditch teams and school organizations if they’re willing to share copies of their constitutions to use as examples. You will also need to find a sponsor. Teachers with a love for Harry Potter or team sports are always a good bet here. If you’re having trouble with this step, don’t be afraid to ask the clubs and organizations office or the rec/sports department for help; they may be willing to ask around for you, or know someone in the perfect position to be a sponsor. Don’t be discouraged if the paperwork takes a long time, or if you can’t get the status that you want. It happens. It took Rice a year of paperwork to be declared a club sport; LSU wasn’t able to achieve club sports status at all and is currently registered as a club. Despite any setbacks, however, the process is always worth it, as having any level of official status gives you access

22 Swag July 2012

to resources that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Even if you don’t get access to these right away, they will serve the team in the future and make it easier to maintain.

upcoming year: it will include hoops, balls, pumps, and PVC brooms for under $200. This will save you the need to scour for materials and draw up construction plans.

Once you’re official, you’ve got two more things to worry about before recruitment: more paperwork and getting equipment. Be sure to stay on top of the paperwork; it will give officials a good impression, which might make them more receptive to your ideas. When applying for budgets, apply for everything you can, and be as detailed as possible. You will most likely not get much your first year, if anything, but every little bit helps. Storage is also extremely important (unless you intend on keeping the equipment in your dorm rooms, which happens) so do whatever you can to get yourself some space. Storage is known for being one of a team’s hardest battles, so be prepared, be polite, and be stubborn.

If you cannot afford hoops right away, one easy way to practice without them is to duct tape hula hoops to the top of a soccer goal, one by each corner and one hanging down from the middle. While they may not be at the right heights, they will allow people to learn throwing techniques while you work on getting the hoops.

The Physical Stuff

While (or, if your schedule permits, after) you work on getting money and space, you will need to gather your equipment. If you can, try to get all the equipment before you begin to recruit players; this almost always means, unfortunately, that at first you will need to pay out of pocket for it. Expect to spend between $150-300 for your first set of hoops, balls (buy two sets if you can afford it), and headbands. Shop around to be sure you get the best deals (dollar stores are great for snitch materials and occasionally sell headbands), and use tax exempt forms whenever possible. When you buy the balls, either have them deflate them a little at the store or buy a cheap pump so you can adjust the air pressure whenever you need. Many teams require players to bring their own brooms to practice to save on money and storage. If you want a team set, a cheap option is buying PVC pipe, cutting it to the proper length at the store, and wrapping them in duct tape to reduce shattering should they break. 10 feet can cost as little as $1.50 (if you buy it thin). The hoops will be your costliest and most difficult purchase, as you will need to choose a design and construct them, but don’t be afraid to ask other teams for advice and help. Borrowing power tools is highly recommended, but if there is literally no way to do so, be sure to buy something that is versatile. If no one on your team as ever worked with power tools before, I also suggest you find a friend with experience to help and teach you so as to avoid wasting materials. Another option for new teams is to buy the starter kit Peterson’s Broomsticks intends to offer this

Another thing to consider is finding a coach. This can be a parent, an athlete with skills that can be transferred to the pitch (baseball and football players are just two of many potential coaches), or, if possible, an experienced Quidditch player who does not play for any particular team at the time. Note, however, that if your coach does not attend the school as a student, the team should not rely on him or her playing during games. Coaches are an excellent resource for first year teams in particular because they can teach new players the skills they need to succeed and help to give the team focus and drive, especially if the founder doesn’t have an athletic background (like me). If you can’t get a coach, you can still do well, but coaches will make the transition easier for those new to sports. If you’ve got someone on your team who fits the bill, simply make them the coach/captain and have them run practice.

Get Started! So, you’ve got your paperwork filled out, your sponsor, your constitution, your equipment, and maybe a coach. Hopefully you’ve also got a small group of dedicated people helping you out and are communicating with a nearby team for advice. The next part’s the scary part: recruitment. There are many ways of going about this - posters, announcements, ads in the school newspaper, facebook events, getting tables at club fairs - and if you have the means, do all of them. Start a facebook page so that people at your school and in your region see you’ve started. Create a team email so it’s easy for people to ask you questions. Have someone dress up as a snitch and have two seekers chase them around campus to attract attention. Make sure people know you exist, and don’t let any jeers get to you. If you show that you’re not ashamed of playing Quidditch, you’ll inspire others to give it a shot, too. If you can, split the introduction into two

Optional Prelim:

parts: an intro meeting, where you discuss how the game is played and how the club will work, and the first practice of the year, where people can come and get a feel for the game. Try to make them on separate days, so that if people cannot make it to one, they can make it to another. (Just be sure to plan your intro meeting to take place after you know your practice schedule.) If people don’t show up, don’t be discouraged. Keep advertising, and ask neighboring teams if they wouldn’t mind coming to a practice, too. People often take Quidditch more seriously when they see this isn’t an idea you came up with one day while bored in class.

An optional, preliminary step is to take an interest survey using an online service like Survey Monkey. This will give you an idea of the amount of initial support you might receive as well as serve as some great advertising. In good cases, the results will be overwhelmingly positive; in bad cases, the opposite will occur. If you don’t get a positive response, that is no reason to give up; it just means you’re going to have to work at convincing people to give it a shot. If you choose to do this, be sure to leave an open-ended question at the end that solicits potential fellow founders for their emails and have a meeting. Start garnering help as soon as you can.

Pro tips

If you can, have your President and Captain be two different people: The President can take care of the administrative things while the Captain focuses on the team’s progress on the pitch. Otherwise, the President runs the risk of getting very stressed out very quickly.

Achievement Unlocked Starting a team is a lot of work, and you are bound it forget something. (It happens.) But it can be well worth the effort. If you get nothing else out of this article, remember this simple rule: people are key. As a founder, you will be the team’s driving force for much of its infancy, and the likelihood of it not only being made but continuing past its first year will depend on your ability to recruit and inspire. Your ultimate goal should be to get people as excited as you are; once you’ve got that, you can do anything. Seriously. If you can get yourself a team of passionate people, however small, your chances of getting Quidditch off the ground increase exponentially. If you can get nonrecruits excited - such as faculty, administrative staff, or non-athletic community members - your team will be more legitimized and thereby receive more support. Get people to love Quidditch as much as you do, and the task will become a lot less daunting.

Photograph by Elizabeth Theriot

If you can, make a listserv for your team. This makes it easy for people to keep up with practice time and major events. This should be separate from your team email.

Make a private Facebook group for your team that is separate from your page. This space is perfect for announcements, organizing out-of-practice events, and online team bonding. It also keeps you from spamming the listserv too much.

Create a Tumblr so that teams outside of your immediate area know you exist. It’s also useful for college teams who want to recruit potential or incoming freshmen.

Advertise. Promote. ALL. THE TIME. Don’t ever think that advertising ends in September. Advertise all year, because no matter how good your team is, half of the school will not know you exist.

Now get out there and conquer. I’ll be waiting for your team on the pitch.

Written by Mollie Lensing


The key to perfecting your abilities at any sport is practice, and the best way to make the most of your practices is by having skill-specific and versatile drills. Therefore, without further adieu I bring you the Drills Section of SWAG. Each issue I will share drills that I believe are helpful at improving your Quidditch game in different ways. I will attempt to allocate focus on all positions aside from seeker because I do not have enough experience with that position to soundly suggest any drills for it. If you have any comments or suggestions for drills you would like to see please feel free to email me at

Focus: Agility and Reaction time Conditioning: Speed Ladder How it helps: Speed ladders aren’t too expensive and they are a fantastic investment for your team. They can help improve your agility and increase your quickness. Both of these skills are highly prized in quidditch as they are the backbone to most star offensive and defensive players. Also, the set-up is easy, and there are a variety of different movements and footwork drills you can do through speed ladders. Drill: I’m actually going to discuss three different work outs with the speed ladder and a few ways you expand on the drill. A good starting point for beginners with speed ladders would be to do three sets of each of these drills. It’s best not to have more than about ten people at a speed ladder at a given time. After one person starts, the next can start when the other person is 4 to 5 rungs in, so the drill is fast-paced and there isn’t too much rest time. After you go through it make sure to jog back to the end of the line. Also, note that you should not start out doing this will a broom. You can work your way up to it if you want, but start out by getting your balance, rhythm and speed down.

TWO FEET IN This is probably the most basic speed ladder drill. Simply start on one end and decide which foot you want to lead with and step in the first square with that foot. Quickly follow with your other foot and then step out with both feet (one at a time) before moving on to the next square. Make sure you have two feet in each square before moving onto the next one.

24 Swag July 2012


Start to one side of the speed ladder. Now simply shuffle in three steps diagonally through the first square. Whatever foot you start with should be the one that ends up outside the ladder on the third step. You then pivot your back foot into the next square and continue your shuffling rhythm. The trick here is to make sure your feet don’t cross and your hips remain square to your body.


Start all these off slow until you get the rhythm down. This won’t help at all if you aren’t doing it right. Make sure you stay on your toes as it will improve your balance and speed. Remember to pump your arms as you go. Don’t let them sit idly by your side. Get them moving as you would when you are running.


If you want to make things a little more intense and get an even better work out add cones to the end of the ladder. You can just put one about 10 yards away and sprint or back pedal to it after you get through the speed ladder. You can also zig zag about 4 or 5 cones that you then shuffle to and from after the ladder OR my personal favorite sprint the first, back pedal to the second and so on and so forth. This will really help out your reaction time and acceleration.


Hop forward on both feet into the first square and then hop forward again into the second square. Now hop backwards one and then hop forwards two again. Try not to bounce too much in between hops and make it all one continuous nonstopping motion through the ladder.

Hone Your Skill: Reaction Catching and Dodging How it Helps: This drill will improve your reaction time and help your body learn instinctual moves that can be applied in a game. So much goes on during a quidditch game that if you don’t react quickly you could miss a goal, a beat or get scored on. This is just one way to train your body and your mind to react more quickly by trying to catch or dodge a ball you don’t initially see coming at you. Drill: Typically, pairing with someone from your position is a good start, so that way you two can use the same ball. If you have an odd number of people or not enough balls then there can be groups of three with one person sitting out each set. However, if that is the case to make sure everyone is working hard you can have that person do 50 - 100 crunches or 20 - 50 squats while they wait (The numbers will vary depending on the conditioning level your team is at). Brooms will be used in this drill.


The player without the ball can be running in place or shuffling along a line set up between two cones while they are waiting to turn. Both these options will help more with your mental reaction time because you now have to multitask.

To start off, the throws should be relaxed and landing close to the other player’s chest. As everyone starts to get the hang of it, you can begin to throw harder and slightly less accurate to force the other player to move more to catch these passes. You can also use this drill to practice dodging. The dodging version follows the same concept as above except instead of trying to catch the ball attempt to dodge it. If you do this version however it would be best to have groups of three with the third person set up to retrieve the ball because otherwise a lot of time would be wasted in retrieving the balls.

Game Application: Clear Out How it Helps: Chasers and keepers must work together to make fast accurate passes while dodging or blocking a bludger, so again this is working on improving reaction time and the ability to make quick decisions. Also, this will improve your ability to make good passes under pressure. As for beaters, this drill is designed to improve speed, accuracy and mental quickness. Drill: Create a circle of cones with a diameter of about 15 yards (you can make a square roughly the same size if you don’t have many cones). Assign 6-7 chasers/ keepers to each circle and divide up the beaters evenly as well. The number of players and size of the space can be adjusted depending on how many people you have and how the drill is working for you. All the chasers/ keepers will be in at once with one quaffle to pass between them. The object of this drill is simple: one beater enters at a time with one bludger that they must use to clear out all the other players as quickly as possible. However, they can only hit a player that is in possession of the quaffle. A player is out if one of four things happen: 1) Bludge while in possession of the quaffle. 2) Bad pass is made or the pass flies outside the circle. 3) Failure to catch a good pass. 4) Leave the circle for any reason other than to retrieve the quaffle. I find that it is best to have someone out of the circle determine when a player is out because it keeps the game rolling and less arguing about play ensues. When only one player remains they must run around and attempt to dodge or block the bludger until they are finally hit. After that, all the players are allowed back in the space and the next beater is up.



Now to get started, you and your partner need to get about ten yards apart. The person without the ball needs to be facing away from their partner in a ready position (knees slightly bent and shoulder width apart and on the balls of their feet). The partner with the ball will then yell “TURN” while simultaneously throwing the ball. The other player must then react and turn as quickly as possible to catch the incoming ball. After the play, the ball is retrieved if it wasn’t caught and now the other player turns around and gets ready to receive a pass. Each player should go through each role 15 times. If you have a group of three just have each player go through their full set of 15 at one time that way you can easily rotate.

Beaters in this drill should really focus on using their speed to get closer to their targets and changing direction quickly with a pass instead of attempting a long shot. Also, beaters should try and manipulate the chaser passing game by using pump fakes to force a bad pass. Chasers should move around constantly that way the beater will have a harder time making hits and keeping track of where everyone is.

Snitching 101

By Mason Kuzmich

So You Want to be a Snitch? Snitching. What is it? How do I do it? What are the potential mental health risks associated with it, and how do I avoid them? Yes, reader. I know. We’ve all had these questions about the snitching profession. And while there currently is no answer to the last question there, I believe I can help you with the first two. So sit your fine self down, and prepare to learn about the greatest position quidditch has to offer. According to historian J.K. Rowling, the Golden Snitch was originally introduced to replace the Golden Snidget, which had become an incredibly rare animal, mostly due to its use in quidditch, which often resulted in the bird’s death (wizards tended not to be environmentally conscious; it’s caused more than a few problems). The more familiar snitch ball was developed by Bowman Wright, and was popular in mainstream use for many years. That is, until a new breed of snitches was born. In the early years of the 21st century, a new trend developed within quidditch: human-snitch hybrids. These new snitches, while born to human parents, seemed to develop a high level of mental instability, with which came an odd desire to dress in gold and humiliate those around them. The cause of this development is unclear; however, it has most definitely had a profound impact on the quidditch world. Now, what is a “snitch”? Well, to describe it simply, it is a game ball in the sport of quidditch which is worth 30 points, and whose capture results in the immediate end of the game. The sole goal of the snitch is to avoid capture for as long as possible during matches. And yet, it has become increasingly common for snitches to focus heavily on theatrics during games. This has, at times, led to sloppy game play and incredibly quick snitch catches, which have detracted heavily from the competitive aspect of the sport and necessitated the addition of the “seeker floor”. And while such theatrics may draw a chuckle from the spectators, some teams have become increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of snitches at major tournaments. Which, in turn, has generated interest in one issue in particular: What makes a good snitch? Well, that’s a tough question. There’s a lot that goes into being a good snitch. But there are four characteristics that are more important than the rest. Three that will help a snitch last longer on the pitch, and one that, while it won’t necessarily improve on a snitch’s game time, is absolutely essential for a snitch to do his or her job properly.


Let’s face it. The world of quidditch is becoming more

and more athletic. This poses a problem for snitches. At any given tournament, it is unlikely that a snitch will be either the strongest or fastest person there. As such, snitches that previously relied solely on speed or strength run into major issues when they go up against seekers who outmatch them in their own particular set of physical skills. However, in terms of endurance, snitches should – no, must – be superior to anyone else there, except other snitches. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one is simply the nature of the position. We don’t get subs. We have to run the entire game on our own reserves of energy, with no backup. Seekers, on the other hand, get breaks. They get the chance to go off the field and rest before coming back in. And in order to deal with this, a snitch is going to need an endurance level equivalent to that of at least three people (preferably more), especially if they want to play in the more competitive games. Beyond that, there are times when snitches are asked to run multiple games in a row, mostly due to a lack of available snitches. There were periods of time at A&M where I was the only person who actually wanted to play snitch, so I would end up running three or four games in a row. It was hell, but in the end it turned out to be incredibly helpful. The more able a snitch is to do back to back games, the better they will do overall.

How do I improve?

Run. Run as much as you can, and then run some more. As a snitch, you should be running at least a mile a day, just to stay in shape. But really, you can never run enough. Even when you think your endurance is great enough, you shouldn’t quit training for it. Some games go on for an hour or more, and really, you should be able to run for just as long. Swimming laps can also be a good option, especially if you want to work on arm strength at the same time. Aside from that, just play more quidditch. Obviously, the more you play, the more you’ll improve. But it’ll really help speed up the process if you also take the time to go running every day.


This one could be rephrased as “knowing your strengths, and how to use them”. And it’s simple enough. But many times snitches get caught because they either tried to do something that they just weren’t good at, or they didn’t apply their strengths properly. For example, if you don’t know how to grapple, don’t grapple; if you’re not very fast, don’t try to outrun the seekers. That part is simple, and is pretty much common sense. But the tricky part comes in knowing how to use one’s skills on the pitch. Back in my seeking days – way back in World Cup IV – I went up against a very physical snitch. And he was good at it, too. He threw me to the ground quite a few times, and was defending himself quite well. But he made a mistake when he went for a throw. He was obviously skilled when it came

Photographs by Lauren Carter to grappling, but he didn’t quite understand how to apply that skill to snitching. So, when he went to throw me, he came in very close. Close enough that, as he was grabbing me and throwing me to the ground, I was able to get my arm around him and take the snitch. He threw me successfully, but in the end I still had the snitch, and that was what mattered. Had he realized that coming in close like that would make it much easier to catch him, the game could have lasted much longer.

action of the snitch him/herself, while “adaptability” is related to those things that are outside the snitch’s control. If a snitch starts the game facing off against a quick, light seeker, will they be able to change their style of play to deal with a larger, more physical seeker who gets subbed in? If a stray bludger comes out of nowhere and nails the snitch in the face, will they be able to continue defending themselves, or will it throw the snitch off his/her game enough to allow a catch?

Strategic play is incredibly important for snitches. If a snitch doesn’t play to their strengths, or doesn’t apply them effectively, then they will be caught fairly quickly. It can be the difference between a ten minute and a forty minute game.

It’s simply a matter of being able to react quickly to anything that gets thrown at you. If a snitch can do this well, they’ve got at least fifty percent of a snitch’s work covered; if not, they’re caught as soon as something unexpected happens.

How do I improve?

How do I improve?

The first part, knowing your strengths, is easy enough. It’s just a matter of knowing what you’re good at. Are you fast? Are you strong? Are you agile? Can you grapple? Once you know this, you can move on to the hard part: understanding how to apply these strengths. The “snitch gladiator” drill – where two or more snitches try to capture one another – can be very helpful in developing an understanding of what you can and can’t do on the pitch without getting caught. However, because this drill requires more aggression than one would normally want to use in a game, you may need to alter your tactics slightly in a real game situation. After all, you don’t win anything by catching the tail of a seeker’s broom (though it is fun). And, just as before, play more quidditch. The best way to figure out what works and what doesn’t is just to try it out on seekers. However, it is good to gain as much of an understanding of your abilities as possible before playing in a tournament setting. The teams there will thank you.


The snitch game is constantly changing. Seekers sub in and out, chasers and beaters and keepers run and pass and tackle all around you, and seekers try any trick they can think of to get at your backside (if you know what I mean). If a snitch can’t respond to these changes quickly enough, they’ve got almost no chance. That game will be over incredibly quickly. This aspect of snitching is definitely related to the strategic aspect, but the main difference is that what I’m referring to as “strategy” is the

The only way to really improve on this is to play as much quidditch as you can, with as many different teams as possible. There is no better way to learn to adapt to the game than in a real game setting, which makes this skill one of the more difficult ones to develop. But the more teams you play, and the greater the variety of conditions you’re exposed to, the faster you will improve.

the game is A&M vs. Texas, or Middlebury vs. Emerson, or any other matchup. The snitch must take no sides and have no preference, at least during the match. As the snitch, one is a game ball. A hyperactive, self-actuating game ball, but a game ball nonetheless.

How do I improve?

This is entirely mental. As such, only you really know how to achieve this. All I can do is give suggestions. What helps me is my desire to win. I know it’s impossible, but I sincerely want to win a game as the snitch. This desire helps me to view myself as a third party, distinct from the two teams playing, so that, instead of picking one team or the other as my personal favorite, I actively focus on trying to beat both of them. These are all fairly simple concepts, but they can be difficult to develop. The more you work at them, the better your performance as a snitch will be. Early on, you will play some very short games. You’ll make mistakes. But that’s alright. It’s part of the learning process. The important thing is that you figure out what you did wrong, and fix it. And, for the sake of all that is good and golden, improve as much as possible before trying to play in a major tournament. Seriously, the teams will appreciate it. I want to emphasize that this is not the definitive list of a snitch’s most important characteristics. You may disagree with me on some points, and that is entirely understandable. Snitches will tend to develop their own unique playing styles. These are just the general areas I focus on, and the things that I feel have helped me the most over the course of the past few years. I hope they help you, too.


This is the single most important quality on this list, as well as the most difficult to truly achieve. It won’t improve your game time, but if you can’t eliminate as much personal bias from the game as possible, you will be doing a disservice to any teams you snitch for. I don’t really think of biased snitches as being a major problem right now – I feel like most of us are good at leaving personal opinion on the sidelines – but I still feel the need to emphasize this whenever I talk about snitching. It’s just too important. A snitch is a game official. That means that, like referees, the snitch cannot pick a side in any match. Any game a snitch plays in is a game between Team A and Team B, with no regard to where those teams are from, and that is the way it has to be to ensure that the game is fair. I’m from Texas A&M, but I am not on A&M’s team. Off the pitch, I love to see them win, but even though I train with them, and I go to school with them, once I hit the pitch they are just another group of players who happen to be wearing colors I like. And if a snitch cannot get him/herself into that mindset, then they have no business being on the pitch. It doesn’t matter if

Robert Szabo (aka Rob Snitch) runs along the Great Wall of China. Photograph by Robert Szabo

Connor Loch of Penn State terrorizes a seeker at World Cup V. Photograph by Bryan Bae

I pursue a snitch, as Kelly Pederson (LSU) comes to ruin my day, at the 2nd Annual Texas A&M Classic. Photograph by Brandi Cannon

Photographs by Matthew Hellman

Meet the New Southwest Regional Director Rebecca DuPont

Howdy Southwest, Becoming the Southwest Regional Director is one of the most exciting tasks I have taken up since joining the quidditch world. Though I’ve held this position for about a semester, not everyone may know me yet; however, I hope that will soon change. I intend to use my new role not only to facilitate the growth and betterment of quidditch across our state lines, but to really get to know the teams and players that make up this amazing region. It is an honor to be able to work with such fantastic people as those who play quidditch in the Southwest. The passion and drive I see in the quidditch community down here is truly inspiring. This year looks to be the biggest and best ever in our region. One of the many great happenings has been the addition of two states to our ranks, Arkansas and Louisiana. I believe they have what it takes to live up to the Southwest reputation. Along with adding these established teams to our ranks, I want to help spread the growth of quidditch to areas that have not seen the magic of the sport so far with the help of our new expansion representative, Sophie Bonifaz. One of our first projects is to create teams in the state of New Mexico, our only state without an official team yet. As more high school teams become interested in starting teams, I will work to help to promote competition amongst them to prepare them for their collegiate quidditch careers. Look for the first official high school matches to be held in the region this season. The highlight of the Southwest quidditch scene will culminate in the largest and most important tournament we have

hosted so far: The Southwest Regional. At this tournament, teams will compete for a coveted World Cup spot, and the game play will be some of the most competitive and outstanding displays of athleticism you will find anywhere. When we send Southwest teams to the World Cup this year, I am very confident that one of them will return with the championship trophy in their hands. As the Southwest Regional Director, I want to increase the unity and friendship amongst teams by creating more regional spirit. Our new logo and slogan will become a regional brand we can all stand behind as we encourage each other in various tournaments throughout the year. I believe that just this past year we have already come far in becoming a more unified region through the regional facebook page and increased appearances in tournament play. I am so ecstatic to see the friendship and communication amongst members of different teams. The upcoming Southwest Fantasy Tournament will only increase the bonds that tie Southwest players together by giving us more opportunities to get to know the region out of traditional team competition. My most important goal is to be accessible. I am always available to talk, either online or on the phone, so if you have an idea for the region, a question about anything, or just want to say hi, please do so! Know that I’m here to help in whatever way possible, whether it’s about quidditch, relationships, or what color cleats would look best with your jersey. What makes quidditch so special is how we are there for each other when we need it, and I intend to lead by example. As long as we can continue to support one another one and off the pitch, I know we can look forward to a bright future in the Southwest.




noun 4. A place where SWAG things are held

Taking a moment to breathe on a perfect Austin day

30 Swag July 2012

Summer Quidditch: Had me a blast Written by Tad Walters

Summer is usually a time for students to take a long break from schoolwork and lounge about the house eating junk food and playing Skyrim. However, we do things a “tad” bit differently here in the Southwest. Instead of reaching to the back of the fridge to get that questionable thing wrapped in aluminum foil, you have students in multiple cities reaching for the quaffle with the intent to score a goal. Yes, SWAG readers, I’m talking about Summer Quidditch.

Photographs by Lauren Carter

Quidditch players from around the country return to their homes in the Southwest for summer, and many of them still want to play that beautiful game we all know and love. Some cities have practices weekly, some monthly, and some just whenever people feel like playing. There are summer Quidditch leagues in cities such as Austin, Dallas, Houston, and more! As someone who has gone to multiple Houston

summer practices, I can safely say that it is the highlight of my week. Not only do you get to stay or get into shape by playing so often, you get more experience by playing with different players outside of your team. Just at the Houston practices, I’ve been able to play with and against players from the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, Rice University, Sam Houston State University, and even Louisiana State University! Not only are summer practices a great time for younger players to learn from some of the more established veterans, but as Augusta Daily, organizer of the Dallas Summer Quidditch practices says, “[Summer Quidditch] is a really great way to get to play with players from other universities that you wouldn’t normally get to bond with on the pitch.” Summer Quidditch is more than just a time for players to hone their skills, however. Since most

Photograph by Lauren Carter

Photograph by Sophie Bonifaz

Photograph by Sophie Bonifaz

summer players practice in their hometown, it’s a great opportunity for them to get their friends and family involved with the sport. It’s not unusual for players to bring a couple of friends or a sibling to practices. Some of these friends and siblings have even decided to play Quidditch when they go back to their respective universities. Newcomer Lindsey Davis, who plays at the Houston practices, says of newly discovering Quidditch, “Learning [how to play Quidditch] has been terrific! Everyone has been so nice,

32 Swag July 2012

Top left: Two Austin summer players congratulate each other on a good play Bottom left: Houston summer opposing chasers dive for the quaffle Right: The Houston “Werewolves” take a moment to strike a pose after a fun and rainy practice

and the sport itself is really fun. It’s a lot more challenging than I expected going in, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a respectable, albeit quirky, activity, and I love it.” Another perk of Summer Quidditch is that since practices are usually city-wide, they are often held at parks in central locations. Playing in parks has been a great way to spread the awareness of Quidditch as well as get new people involved. As Sophie Bonifaz, coordinator of the Houston Summer Quidditch practices, remarks,

“We’ve had multiple people stop to take pictures or video with either professional equipment or their phones. Once, a jogger participated for a minute by holding a quaffle the snitch handed him for the brooms up. People seem to consider us a pleasant surprise. We may not be why they came to the park, but they’re certainly not unhappy to see us.” Overall, Summer Quidditch is a great way to stay in shape, meet new people, learn some new tricks, and get people involved with the sport! So if you haven’t

Arlington summer team smiles for the camera after an exciting practice.

“It’s a respectable, albeit quirky, activity, and I love it.” been a Summer Quidditch practice yet, find a group practicing near you, and just show up one day. Trust me, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

Photograph by Sophie Bonifaz This Houston chaser fights against the opposition with a smile

Team Spotlight: Arkansas Razorbacks

Team Arkansas: The Razorbacks pause their fun for a personality-filled team picture


Insideview: They don’t really have razor backs Written by Jacob Mota

A RazQuidd beater takes aim and fires

Iota Omicron Delta at Arkansas University is a very unique fraternity - to start with, they will be the hosts of the 3rd Annual Hog’s Head Invitational. Since you are reading a Quidditch magazine, I hope you’ve figured out by now that they are the Arkansas University Quidditch team! For two years now, this team has graced Arkansas University with the presence of Muggle Quidditch. According to Jim Curry, President of Arkansas Quidditch, Amanda O’Connor and Jennifer Newcome found out about other schools around the country participating in the sport of Quidditch and knew they wanted to bring it to Arkansas University. Together, along with assistance from several others who would later be-

come officers and members of the team, RazQuidd was born in the spring of 2010. As a Registered Student Organization, the team has your typical positions of “President” and “Treasurer” but, in pure Harry Potter spirit, the team assigns its officers magical titles, too: the President is the Minister of Magic, the Treasurer is the Minister of Gringotts, and the Public Relations officer is the Minister of Wizard/Muggle Relations. Their practice pitch may be nothing more than a garden, but you’ll need to know their secret handshake to find it. Interestingly enough, other groups have found this “secret” garden, including a Catholic Mass. Lauren Grantham, Vice-President and

Team Captain, says, “Once a year, the local Catholic Church has an event called ‘Mass on the Grass’ where they host their service in the Gardens where we practice. And though you can reserve the pavilion areas at the Gardens, you can not reserve the entire area. We practice from 3-5 and they were starting their event at 5 but people were trickling in and everything starting at about 4:15-4:30. Some older men came over and, quite rudely from what I recall, demanded that we leave and, being the heathens that we are, we decided to practice right up until 5 as scheduled. At the end of practice we called it up a little louder than usual; it was pretty funny.” When the team isn’t running around their garden, they play a Hunger Games-inspired drill. When asked about this, Lauren responded, “Ah, one of my more ingenious drills. We are all a bunch of nerds and so I decided a crossover was in order for practice.” The drill involves a Quidditch-style “cornucopia” made up of 5 brooms and 4 bludgers. While the team stands in a circle, a whistle is blown and everyone runs for a broom, a ball, and their life. The goal is to beat the other players. To successfully beat anyone, you must be in possession of a ball and a broom at the same time. You can carry one broom, one broom, both, or nothing at all; it all depends on your tactics. If you are hit with a bludger you must drop any equipment that you are carrying (if you have any) and run to the nearest Razorback statue in the Gardens and touch it to rejoin the drill; each player has two lives. “Each player also has one ‘District 12 kiss’ they can blow to any player who has been hit so they don’t lose a life or have to drop anything,” says Lauren.

Top: The line-up waits for the ref’s “Brooms Up” Bottom: The keeper refuses to give the other team an inch

Advertising is something they love to do as a team. Arkansas University has an enrollment of over 21,000 students, 80 percent being undergraduate enrollment, so they have a big pool to draw from. Their practice pitch is located between a large parking lot used by ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// the Basketball arena and the arena itself, “so whenever the large masses are leaving from a game, we drop whatever we are doing but off the pitch we are all really friendly and [have] fun with and start weaving in and out of them dueling each other... Slytherin each other,” says Lauren. They are attending the Southusually wins,” says Lauren, who is a Slytherin herself. As a Gryffindor, west Regional Tournament and are working hard in order this writer wishes all of my fellow Gryffindors better luck next time! to qualify for World Cup VI. They are also hosting their first According to Curry, some of the teams strengths include communication, teamwork, drive, heart, and passion, typical of SWAG teams. Their weaknesses include long distance passing accuracy and running endurance. “We are definitely very good about learning from our mistakes. At the end of every practice and every game we meet in a huddle and talk about things we saw positive and negative and what we need to work on,” says Lauren. Arkansas currently accepts 100% of people who come out to play, which is another thing typical with teams of SWAG and the Quidditch community in general. With that said, these Hogs are on the right track to becoming a very successful organization. Curry says, “I’ve seen nothing but growth since joining Razorback Quidditch - everything [from an] expanded roster [and] gaining a strong core of experienced players [to] acquiring brooms, uniforms, and other pieces of equipment. We are truly a family. I think back to an IQA article that put teams on a scale from ‘play to win’ to ‘play to have fun’. I’m proud to say that we’d place directly in the middle of such a scale. We’re not a team who will soon forget Quidditch as the ‘silliest of sports.’” The team looks forward to the upcoming year and season with several plans. With multiple close games on the books, they currently have a record of about half wins and half losses. “One of our main rivals is TCU. We both keep up each other’s intensity,

annual Yule Ball as well as the 3rd Annual Hog’s Head invitational, a tournament whose past rosters have included Kansas, A&M, Arkansas Tech, Hendrix, and Oklahoma State.

Although the team is still only in its youth, they already have been hosting tournaments, forming fraternities, and making sure everyone from college kids to Catholic priests know who they are. They have greatly improved since the birth of their team, and have been continuing to do so ever since. Only time will tell how far this team will go. Photos were provided by several members of the Razzorback team. Thanks!

Swag July 2012 35

Bluebonnet Cup

3 Cities

Saturday, July 21, 2012, @ 6pm

Pappy Elkins Park in Dalworthington Garden, Arlington, Texas For more information contact Tyler Jewell via FB message

Buy your regional t-shirt for $20 For more information contact Kevin Peterson:

1. Passport and boarding pass at the ready

2.Touring London 3. Close up of quidditch gold

Quidditch: The New Olympic Curling

7. Borrowing Mr. Weasley’s car


4. The Visitor’s entrance to the Ministry of Magic

6. The Southwesterners of Team USA5. The Chosen One?


rence Lazewski (MSU chaser). Most of that first day was simply spent resting as we were all tired and jetlagged. The next day, we decided to be tourists around London, acting like stereotypical Americans. That night, we went and met up with some more players from the team at a bar to socialize. Tyler Macy (Ball State seeker), who was probably the least known Team USA player going into the games, decided to use the fact that most of us didn’t know who he was to his advantage and pull a prank. He pretended to be a Canadian seeker named Shane for most of the night and perpetuated the idea that the real Tyler wasn’t coming. As the night continued on, there was karaoke which included beautiful renditions of “I Want It That Way”, “The Real Slim Shady”, and “Say My Name.” Yours truly even ended up in a dance off against a waiter. I mean, aren’t these totally normal things to do with a bunch of people you’ve just met?

Photographs by Sam Medney

Aspirations, goals, and dreams. As children we are all told to have these and strive for the absolute best in ourselves. We usually set our sights on lofty ambitions that we know would be extremely difficult to attain, but we do it anyways because it’s fun to imagine what it would be like if one of those dreams came true. For me, one of those aspirations became a reality on May 16th, 2012 when the announcement for the IQA Team USA roster was made. It wasn’t exactly in the way I pictured when I was ten due to the fact that Muggle Quidditch didn’t exist at the time, but the overall dream, to compete on a national sports team, in essence had been realized.

Almost immediately (in true Gen Y fashion), a Facebook group was created for the players to network and get to know one another. After a few days, we were all talking to each other as if we were old high school buddies. I don’t think many of us had ever developed friendships with people that quickly. Soon, we began to organize ourselves based on our own individual skill-sets outside of Quidditch to plan the trip. Luke Zak (team coordinator) and Allison Gillette (Emerson beater and organization queen) took the lead in creating an itinerary for our trip and planning out most of the details for what would happen when we got to Oxford. The rest of us helped out where we could, since we knew we had a short time to do a lot of fundraising and to prepare for the trip. Fast forward to arriving in London early on July 4th, US Independence Day (sorry not sorry Great Britain), where I was greeted by several of my teammates: Brad and Sarah (LSU Southwest veterans), Bryan Bae (snitch), Jessica Klein (NY Badassilisk chaser), James Hicks (UMD keeper), and Law-

Saturday began with some dismal, rainy weather as we headed for the fields for our first and only team practice, which went over very well. Certain players started clicking on the pitch with others, and it became clearer to Zach D’Amico (Villanova chaser and Team USA chaser/keeper captain) and myself (Team USA beater captain) which players we wanted to put together on our lines. We ended practice with a game I call Ultimate Quaffle in a shirts vs. skins match because, as Quidditch players, we can only keep our shirts on for so long. Later that afternoon, we received our jerseys and immediately everyone put theirs on, claiming that they never wanted to take them off. Everyone was glowing with pride and accomplishment. Waking up the next morning felt like a cross between Christmas and the morning before a huge test. My anxiety and excitement were at an all-time high. It was surreal getting ready and then walking out into the hostel lobby, seeing all my teammates in their USA jerseys. It was one of those moments in life where you ask yourself, “Is this really happening?” The atmosphere was very different from the previous days’ because the seriousness of the event began to weigh down on everyone. We knew what we had to do, and we didn’t want to let anyone down. On the bus ride to the fields, there was little conversation as many of us had music blasting through our ear buds to get in the zone and pumped up for the games. Walking up to the fields was like something out of a sports movie. The beautiful and vast English countryside lent us an epic backdrop for the tournament, and there were blue skies despite a prediction of rain.

Photographs on page 37 by: 1, 4, Brad Armentor; 3, 6 Sam Medney; 5 Sarah Holub

Written by Mollie Lensing

Friday, we made our way to Oxford. After arriving at a hostel and meeting some more players from the team, we decided to stop by and grab a snack from The Eagle and Child, famous for being a hangout spot of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. We ran into the Australian Team there, and while there was some inter-team socializing, overall there was a palpable amount of tension in the air. That night, we all went out to dinner as a team, and it was very interesting to see everyone mingling with the players from outside of their regions. Before the trip started I had assumed everyone would somewhat stick close to their regional friends, but they didn’t; the team never really saw any cliques form, which was very cool.

We, along with the other teams, were given a locker room to drop off our stuff and get ready. We had a few minutes to talk, and I made sure to remind everyone that we had the most to lose that day due to the expectations everyone had for us. It was very daunting, but looking around that locker room and thinking about the past few days, I knew that every single person on the team would fight with everything they had to make their teammates and their country proud. I’m not going to go into much detail about the games and their outcomes because I believe most people already know what happened (and there will be videos soon), but I will outline certain moments. Our first two games against Australia and France respectively were a little shaky (especially the game against France - they were great competitors that no one had expected) due to our growing pains as a new team. Our next game against the UK, however, was flawless. Everyone was meshing perfectly and it was beginning to look as if we had been training together for months. The game against Canada was a little more difficult as some of their players showed some obvious experience, but unfortunately their lack of depth and experienced players hurt them greatly. Moving into the semifinals, we prepared to face the Australians again and from “Brooms Up!” it was clear that they were not going down without a fight. I was impressed with some of the adaptations they made to their game to attempt to counter us, and their tenacity was brilliant considering that they don’t normally play with tackling. However, their downfall was also their lack of experience and depth as the game wore on. Now we were set to face the French, who had just come off of two very tough and close games against the Canadians, in the finals. They were the true Cinderella story of the tournament. Going into the final, we huddled up for our pre-game cheer and Zach gave a very moving speech that brought a number of us to tears. The intensity of the moment was overwhelming as we all flashed back to our first moments playing Quidditch, so seeing that and how far we had come was indescribable. After the game, Alex Benepe gave a few final remarks before handing out the medals, which were very reminiscent of true Olympic medals. In that moment, I don’t think I had ever been more proud of anything in my entire life. A lot of the players and people at the event told us how much they looked up to us, not only for our athletic skill but our sportsmanship as well. Before the tournament, Zach and I stressed to the team that we wanted to do all we could to show off Quidditch to the world; this was an opportunity to present the sport at its highest level to reporters, photographers, naysayers, fans, and any and everyone else who was intrigued by what we do. I definitely believe we succeeded. We also displayed some of the fun of Quidditch, in particular when all the players got together in the

Team USA with their gold medals

Don’t think we’re in Louisiana, anymore

Augustine Monroe silently tells the camera what place his team earned

Kody Marshall prepares to snitch internationally Swag July 2012 39

middle of the field for a makeshift dance party, and before the finals a bunch of players and a few refs (looking at you Dan Hanson) decided to body slide through a giant puddle. There was even some classic photobombing as a few us decided to conga in the background of an interview. On Sunday night, Harry Wells of Team UK rented out a club in Oxford for a tournament after-party. Everyone that was a part of the event in some way, including a few fans and parents, came by. It was great to see all the players mingling together and many new friendships form. There was quite a bit of embarrassing dancing, singing and a few mosh pits to top the night off. The next morning, we all slept in to try and ease our soreness and injuries (or maybe that was just me, as I am very injury-prone). We got ready in our uniforms and began our trek to the Torch Relay Festival grounds, except that this time we were all donning our gold medals, which earned us quite a few stares and questions from bystanders on our way. Matt Ziff (Miami beater and actor) was apparently appointed the team PR person without any of us knowing because practically everyone stopped him to ask who we were and what we were doing. After we got our wristbands for being “Performers/Actors” at the festival, we went to set up the field. Quite a few news reporters were there, ready to see what Quidditch was all about: CNN, BBC, and Reuters were there to conduct some interviews, and they all seemed to hold Quidditch in a very positive light, which was a breath of fresh air. The match for the event was set to be between us and Team UK, which turned into a merc team with the addition of a few French players, Matt Lowe of Emerson, and Alex Browne of UCLA. During our pre-game huddle, we discussed how the match would be our last time playing together for the trip and how we needed to make the most of it. Then, the perfect words came to me: “Play this game for all the haters.” We have all heard so many times that what we do is “stupid,” or “not athletic,” and it gets very frustrating to deal with all of that negativity. In that moment though, no one could touch us, and with the cameras watching, we showed everyone what Quidditch is all about. When the match was over, we spent some time enjoying the festival before we made our way to the stage to watch the Olympic Torch arrive. I keep referring to how this trip was about moments, which is true, and there are so many great ones that I will never forget, but for me the most powerful and moving moment of the whole trip was seeing the Olympic Torch being carried across that stage. Lawrence was behind me, just as awestruck, and said how this had to be the best moment of his life thus far. It was just amazing to think that we were there representing the first USA Quidditch Team, and that with time there could be more and Quidditch could potentially become an Olympic sport one day. Seeing the team around me and the looks on their faces as the torch moved across that stage made me realize that absolutely no one was taking that moment for granted. Leaving the next day was horrible. Some of the team was going back to London to see the city for another day or so, but I unfortunately had to fly home to get back to my job. I never imagined I could develop so many strong bonds with people I had just met. I think the magnitude of the experi-

A few final tidbits about the event: •

We had a Southwest-plus-Zach lineup go in during the semifinal match and it was glorious

August Lührs (USC chaser) has got some crazy awesome dance moves

Dan Hanson has too many personalities for his own good

Billy Greco (Villanova seeker) and Tyler were like long-lost seeker brothers

The Australian team tricked a few of us into trying Vegemite (which, for the record, is disgusting)

Augustine Monroe (UT keeper) never stops trying to recruit players for Texas

The actress who played the young Lily Potter in the Harry Potter movies came to watch us play on Monday Michael “Yada” Parada (Penn State chaser) has the longest fingers Quidditch has ever seen

When the documentary comes out, it will be at least half-comprised of epic clips of us walking down stairs

Sarah Kneiling still claims the title for “Shortest Shorts Ever,” even though a few of the Australian guys gave her a run for her money

If you play the Black Eyed Peas song “My Humps” both Sarah Holub (UT chaser) and Kedzie Teller (BU chaser) will stop whatever they are doing and come running

“There is wifi here!” had to be the most commonly-said phrase the entire trip

ence we were all a part of helped to facilitate that. I know a lot of us were wondering if we would all stay friends after we got back to the States. I’ve thought about it, and while it will be difficult for me personally to stay in touch with everyone from the team, I know I made some great new friends that I will remain in contact and stay friends with for many years to come. But I am certain that at the next World Cup when we are all reunited, we will all hang out as if we were all back together in Oxford, and it will be an epic explosion of emotion.

Top Left: After teaching kidditch to young convention goers, a silly photo is necessary. Top Right: Quidditch players from thw southwest team up to teach quidditch. Bottom: Brian Stevens (Rice) blocks bludger dealt by Chris McCormick (Denver Dementors)

MAY 25-27, 2012 HOUSTON, TX

The Amazing Comicpalooza

Quidditch meets Star Wars with Nick Gillard

P We’re Nerdy and We Know It: Comicpalooza

Written by Kathy Kavanaugh

Photographs by Brandi Cannon

Quidditch players from across the Southwest assembled at the George R. Brown convention center in downtown Houston on May 25-27 for the 5th annual Comicpalooza convention. From comic book aficionados to steampunk enthusiasts, nerds of all ages come together each year to celebrate their mutual love of gaming, science fiction and fantasy, comics, and more. After successfully hosting matches at the convention in 2011, southwestern university students were invited once again to play exhibition matches and to host a Quidditch 101 workshop for children and young adults. Players in attendance were from schools across the region, including Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M University, Louisiana State University, University of Texas, Rice University, and Loyola University of New Orleans, with a random assortment of players divided into two exhibition teams. Quidditch was once again wildly popular at the convention - the teams assembled on both Friday and Saturday to showcase Quidditch matches to the enjoyment of large crowds, followed by a workshop to teach and allow spectators the opportunity to play. Sophie Bonifaz, a graduate from Rice University and on the volunteer staff at the convention, moderated the Quidditch events. “I think [the events] went excellently, and did much better than last year. This year, the crowds were bigger - especially on Saturday - and seeing as we were mixing people up from various schools, it showed just how widespread the sport had become,” she noted. “I know that there were people who told me that they had come specifically for Quidditch.”

42 Swag July 2012

The “Kidditch” workshops were also a highly attended attraction, and provided many children and young adults (as well as a mother who wanted to play with her daughter) an opportunity to learn how to play Quidditch at a high school and collegiate level. A memorable highlight of the workshops was when a child cosplaying as Harry Potter himself caught the snitch, bringing his team to victory. “You could SEE his dream coming true on his face,” Sophie said. Chris McCormick, a beater for the Denver Dementors, added, “If that kid keeps playing Quidditch, he’ll be the MVP of the World Cup one day.” The workshops were so popular on Saturday that it was necessary to split the participants into two separate groups, which additionally allowed both kids and teenagers to play at an age-appropriate level. “Seeing all those people excited about this great sport was really amazing,” Chris remarked. Comicpalooza offered a wide array of panels and events, and there was ample time for the players to explore and participate in different activities. For experienced convention-attendee Chris McCormick, the convention surpassed his expectations. “Comicpalooza was a really

Sophie Bonifaz teaching the crowd the ins and outs of quidditch

Collegiate beater, Jesse Herring, beams between his two new pupils

Mason Kuzmich, snitch, gauges his escape route in George R. Brown Convention Center

solid convention. I went in with little expectations but the few I had were blown out of the water,” Chris said. “There was also a good shadowcast of Doctor Horrible and some great LARP panels. All in all, it was an incredible time.” There were many celebrity guests present, including Boondock Saints’ Sean Patrick Flanery, True Blood’s Kristen Bauer, and Star Trek’s George Takei. Also in attendance was Star Wars Jedi stunt coordinator Nick Gillard, whose lightsaber combat workshop ended up requiring extra “weapons” in the form of broomsticks. Quidditch was happy to oblige, and in gratitude Gillard signed memorabilia for players and took a picture with those who stayed for Sunday’s events. As much as the players enjoyed their experience, Comicpalooza was also impressed with Quidditch’s contribution to the program. Sophie, an insider to the convention, remarked, “The convention itself also considered Quidditch to be a great success. I think the convention is most definitely going to invite Quidditch back next year… All in all, from the organizational side, it went magically.”

A huge thanks to those who participated in Comicpalooza 2012. It was a blast and we can’t wait to see you next year! If interested in playing in 2013 please contact:

Fantasy Quidditch Real Fantasy Quidditch!

(Or, a Contradiction in Terms) Written by Mason Kuzmich On July 29, 2012, Thunderdome is coming to Austin, Texas. Some of the biggest names in muggle quidditch will be there to battle it out in the original Fantasy Quidditch tournament, organized by the City of Austin Quidditch Organization. Players are coming in from across the country to get the chance to play with and against some of the very best athletes quidditch has to offer. The players, many of whom were selected for either Team USA or the reserve squad, have been divided into six teams, based on an auction-based draft. The players were auctioned to the general manager(s) of each team on July 15, and will play each other in what is looking to be one of the most exciting tournaments ever seen in the world of quidditch on July 28, starting at 10 AM. The general managers are: Jacob Adlis, of the University of Texas; Beto Natera of Louisiana State University; David Gutierrez, former president of Texas A&M Quidditch and founder of the NCBA; Dan Hanson of the Lost Boys; Mitch Cavender of the University of Southern California; and the duo of Quinksy Quimpernel and the Golden Snitchy, the two most well-known unknown personalities in quidditch. It should be noted that Alex Benepe, the commissioner of the IQA, was supposed to be one of the GMs, but due to unforeseen circumstances Mr. Benepe was unable to participate in the draft, and was replaced by David Gutierrez at the last minute. Each GM was assigned a team color, and the players were drafted under the colors. The GM which corresponds to each color is currently unknown. The teams are stacked. Each team has a number of star athletes, as well as many lesser known (but still highly skilled) players. Blue team seems to be attracting the most hype, having obtained the chaser/ keeper duo of “Fan Favorite” Kody Marshall and Augustine “Slipstream” Monroe (both from the University of Texas), as well as the

Brad Armentor (LSU/Pink Team) and Mollie Lensing (A&M/Blue Team) take on Team France in London during the 2012 Quidditch Summer Games. Photograph by Matt Ziff beater combo of Reed “Sexy ‘Stache” Duncan and Mollie “Mollie Lensing” Lensing, along with Jason “All I Do Is” Winn (LSU) and Ronell “Nerd Puncher” Sharp (Kansas). Other big picks included Pink’s drafting of Brad “HoneyBradger” Armentor (LSU), Sarah “Phantom” Kneiling (LSU), and Andrew “Dirk” Hryekewicz (Texas A&M). Orange took two solid Keepers from A&M, Kacey “Big Pimpin’” Ortiz and Eric “Burrito” Willroth, as well as seeker James “David Tennant” Crouch (LSU), and chasers Doug “Dorothy” Whiston (Kansas) and Drew “Mike Wazowski” Wasikowski (Texas A&M). Red snagged Cody “Stop Talking About Star Wars And Comment On The Freaking Game” Quebedeaux (LSU), as well as USC beater Nicte “I Hear She’s Good” Sobrino, seeker Isaac “How’d He Do That?” Salazar (Texas A&M), and chaser/seeker Kenny “Insert Clever Nickname Here” Chilton (Texas). Purple is sporting a very foreign (and by that I mean non-Southwest) lineup, with Team USA chasers Zach “Goal” D’Amico (Villanova) and August “Danger

Will Robinson” Luhrs (USC) (yes, that was the best joke I could come up with; get over it, I haven’t met the guy), as well as USC beater Julia “ ” Thomas. That’s not to say Purple completely neglected the Southwest; they also picked up hard-hitting chaser Jordon “BasedGod” Parisher (Texas State) and seeker Tyler “Imma Steal Your Baby” Jewell (Texas Tech). And, last but not least, Green picked up a fearsome squad, including A&M chasers Nichole “Mama” Galle and Becca “Baikiki” DuPont, as well as chaser Nick “Silver Surfer” Semon (Rice) and Kansas beater Samy “Really Should’ve Been Drafted Much Earlier” Mousa. Like I said, this tournament will be incredible. I’m excited to see all these teams play. As I’ve already pointed out, (with the help of nicknames that are all totally serious, I promise) the teams are made up of some of the top players in the nation. But there are a couple match-ups I’m even more excited about than the others. Blue vs. Pink: This game will be intense. Both sides have solid chasers,

Zach D’Amico (Villanova/Purple Team) charges the goals, using what appear to be Jedi powers to deflect a bludger. Photograph by Emily Arroyave

Kody Marshall (Texas/Blue Team) goes for a tackle as Kenny Chilton (Texas/Red Team) takes the shot. Photograph by Melissa DeVarney

“Fantasy quidditch: where every team is stacked.” keepers, and beaters, and while Blue likely has the edge in this match, Pink certainly will not make it easy for them, with players like Brad Armentor, Sarah Kneiling, and the Williard brothers. The most interesting part of this game, though, will come when the snitch returns to the pitch. Despite having a number of very skilled players, Pink’s team lacks depth, having the fewest players of any team at the tournament. As such, Blue will likely have a serious advantage as the game goes on and Pink’s players wear down. Blue should be expected to go up by more than thirty points by the time the snitch returns to the field. And when that happens, Blue’s seeker is going to find two hundred pounds of pure Dirk standing between them and their golden prey. If there is going to be a marathon match this tournament, this is it. Expect both teams to be thoroughly exhausted by the end of this one. Purple vs. Anyone Else: Honestly, this is more a matter of personal curiosity than anything else. Of all the teams, Purple seems to be the one with the highest concentration of players from outside the Southwest. And if what’s said about them is true, Purple has a chaser corps that will

rival any of the other teams. Put the two Team USA chasers from the coasts together with Jordon Parisher (a top chaser from Texas State), Mathieu Gregoire (one of the best beaters I’ve seen play), and seeker Tyler Jewell, and you have a team which is both highly skilled and, so far, seems to be highly underrated. These guys are likely the dark horse team of the tournament, and I’m looking forward to seeing them in action against the other teams. If you have the chance to come out to this tournament, even just to watch, you have to be there. You’ll definitely regret it if you don’t. A tournament like this has never been seen in this sport, and it promises to be a great show. I’ll be there myself, playing as much as I can, and when it’s all said and done I’ll have a nice, pretty report written up for the next issue, to let you know just how much of the city was destroyed.

Looking for Arkansas State Representative If interested please contact Becca Dupont: no later than Wednesday, July 25. 2012

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Photograph by Will Michels

Culture noun 5. the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of quidditch players


Quidditch Players, Assemble

Written by Sophie Bonifaz

There are many different kinds of Quidditch players, but one thing that we (probably) all have in common is that we like to learn about ourselves. Thus, we will be having a series of silly quizzes for you to take to learn more about your inner QuidKid! 1.

This issue, in order to celebrate one of the biggest blockbusters of the year, our quiz is Avengers-themed! Now, keep reading, Midgardian, and find out which member of the Avengers best reflects your Quidditch style.

You're going on a road trip to a tournament! What are you thinking?

a. You're clearly excited. You love going on road trips with your team and you love playing with your team. b. You're looking forward to being a complete BAMF, both on and off the pitch. Everyone's going to remember you. c. Are you kidding? Spending time with your team while getting to know people on other teams, all while playing Quidditch? Let's get going! d. Your excitement is infectious and you can't wait to get onto the pitch. You're going to cream the competition. e. You're quietly content in your corner, enjoying the company of your team and looking forward to the games ahead. f. You're looking forward to this, but you're also slightly stressed. The hotel got your reservations, right? Where are you going to eat? Did the tournament send you an updated version of the schedule?

2. Oh no! You wake up on the first day of the tournament and find out you've been unexpectedly rained out. What do you do for the rest of the day?

a. Hang out with your team, of course! b. Party time, duh. With only the best of the best. Photos need to go up. c. Explore the city and meet some people from other teams. This is a perfect opportunity to make new friends! d. You're irritated all morning, and continue to be disgruntled throughout the day. You came to play Quidditch, not waste time. e. You go with the flow. Hang out, maybe do some homework. Depends on what the rest of the team is doing. f. You help organize the day's activities; remind people that hey, we have a tournament tomorrow, so don't go crazy; and make sure no one on your team gets kidnapped or lost. You also keep in contact with the tournament's organizers, requesting updates and offering help.


Now it's the night before the tournament. What are you doing?

a. Gather the team together for one last pep talk before tomorrow morning in order to instill confidence (you're good at those). You want them to sleep well so they can be the best they can be. b. You're so relaxed you don't even care. Maybe you're with your team; maybe you're not. Maybe your friend Red Solo Cup is making an appearance. Maybe you blow everyone off to go sleep as much as you want. It doesn't matter to you; you know you're going to beast no matter what. c. You're talking to people and wondering how tomorrow will go. Not all of them are from your team, but you don't care; you're all going to be meeting in glorious battle, anyway, and the game is more fun when you know who you're playing. d. You're absolutely stoked. You stretch, jog, and practice a few tackling techniques before bed to be sure your performance tomorrow is top-notch. e. You're helping map out the next day's strategy by pointing out the weaknesses in both team strategies and individual players. You've got sharp eyes, after all, and notice more than most. f. You're the one telling everyone when to wake up, going over lists of what to bring to the pitch the next day, pouring over the schedule, and making sure that no one forgot anything. And if they did, you're the one googling where the nearest Wal-Mart is.


Game day! What do you do once you're on the pitch?

a. You organize the warm-ups and make sure everyone's nice and loose before the first game. You also give the team a pep talk to help chase away pre-game jitters. b. You warm-up with the team some, but every now and then you go off to do your own. You know what your body needs. c. You warm-up with the rest of the team and keep spirits high, but you also take some time to walk around and talk to people, too. d. You take the warm-ups more seriously than anyone, and are so pumped you don't even know what to do with yourself. You're constantly practicing with equipment while you wait. e. You warm-up with the rest of the team, focusing more on the stretches and agility warm-ups than you do on the ones that deal with tackling. You also take a moment to walk around and look at what the other teams are doing in order to help gauge your competition. f. If you make it to warm-ups, you make it, but as long as someone's leading them that's all that matters; you're too busy running around confirming the schedule, talking to refs about tournament rules, and figuring out the map of the place.

48 Swag July 2012

5. What's your preferred role in the team strategy?

a. You don't care what you're doing, as long as it helps the team. b. Being awesome. If the team strategy gives you the chance to shine, perfect. If it doesn't, no worries; you'll make yourself that chance. c. Anything! You like strategy, but you're not opposed to pure physicality, either; as long as you get a chance to play, you’re happy. d. Anything that involves hitting something. e. You like to hang back and wait for your moment. You're not into physicality; you're all about slipping in fast and unnoticed and wreaking havoc that way. f. You're usually not playing on the pitch. You're too busy reffing or making sure that your team has everything it needs (like headbands and first aid kits).

6. A good friend on your team is hit by what you feel is unnecessary force and ends up getting hurt. The opposing player does not apologize, nor do they look particularly sorry. What do you do?

a. After taking care of your player, you talk to their captain. The captain should know if their players are being unsportsmanlike and warn against it. It could give their team a bad rep. b. Give the player a nasty look and make sure to hit them back just as hard at the next opportunity. See how they like it. c. Talk to the player politely and try to get them to apologize. Perhaps they don't realize they should dial down their strength. d. Get mad at the player and snap at them, if not get in their face for it. Then proceed to hit them with everything you've got once the game starts up again. e. First, you make sure your friend is okay. After that, you be sure to slip in and foil the player's plans every opportunity you get. f. If you're a ref, you either give them a warning or you card them. If you're not a ref, you go to the head ref and talk to them about it. You know every legal move in the book, and that one was most definitely questionable.

You are:

Mostly As: Captain America

Quidditch is a team sport, and no one knows that more than you. You are the definition of a team player and will do anything to further the team; showing off is not part of your repertoire. You are also a great strategist, and your love for your team helps you figure out precisely how to use everyone's individual strengths best. Clean agames are extremely important to you, and in your mind, the best way to ensure one is to know the rules as well as possible. After all, what's a win without sportsmanship?

Mostly Bs: Tony Stark - Iron Man

There may be no "i" in team, but there is one in win. You believe in winning, period - that's what makes life fun, being the best - and if that means deviating from the team strategy every now and then to take advantage of an opening, so be it. You know, however, that flying solo doesn't always work, and can also thrive as part of a unit so long as you are given some flexibility to adapt to sudden changes in the game. Nevertheless, you’re the team’s confident show off, and you’re totally okay with that, even if that means people might hit you harder in-game.

7. You won a game! How do you act?

a. You organize the line up and go over any misunderstandings or questionable calls with the ref. You want to be sure that, if your team broke any rules, they don't do it again. If the other team broke rules, you get the captains and refs together and talk about it before the next game. b. You act like a winner. Duh. (Pose for pictures!) And if people think you’re being obnoxious, they’re just jealous. c. You put your MVP on your shoulders and cheer; clap everyone's hand in the line up with a hearty, "Good game!"; and then have fun reliving moments with anyone and everyone you can. d. You puff up with pride and make a ridiculous amount of noise. People a field away turn to see who’s making all the fuss. e. You make notes on the other team's playing style as well as your own, and go around casually asking others (opponents and audience alike) what they thought of the game to get a better idea of how people see you. f. You check and make sure the line-up's been done, tend to any injuries, make sure the team has all their stuff and that the pitch is left the way you found it, and report scores to the tournament organizers.

8. You've been hurt mid-game! It's nothing very serious, but you can definitely feel it when you move. How do you handle the injury? a. You step out and let someone who isn't injured go in. Best let someone fresh go in and let your body take a minute to recover. b. You don't let people know and keep going, playing rougher than ever. c. You keep playing, but at a lower intensity, until you feel that someone else could do your job better. d. Injury? What? You didn't notice. e. You're fine. No big deal. f. Let's face it. You probably weren't even playing long enough to even get injured. But you don't really care, as you're not a fan of pain, anyway.

Mostly Cs: Thor

9. You've lost your game, which was overall pretty clean. How do you react?

a. You clap everyone's hand, congratulate them and your own team, and don't make a fuss. Everyone played their best. No hard feelings. b. You're the most unenthusiastic line-up participant ever, and grumble about the other team once they're out of earshot. You also secretly hope they lose their next game. c. You're the cheeriest person on your team in the line-up and wish your opponents luck. They played honorably and deserve their win. d. You're not happy. People avoid you. You might end up being told to skip the line-up, but you didn’t want to go, anyway. e. You're fairly mellow in the line-up, but you're not really focused on what's going on, exactly. You're too busy memorizing faces and making mental notes for later “research”. f. You pat your team on the back, check in with the refs and the tournament's organizers, and either prepare to sit back and enjoy watching a game or go get ready to ref one.

10. How do you recount your tournament experience to other people? a. You talk about how your team bonded and grew a lot as competitors, and how you can't wait for the next practice. b. You just show them the awesome pictures and video people got of you playing. c. You talk about the fun you had playing and clog up everyone's Facebook newsfeed with all your new friends. You can't wait for the next practice. d. You talk about your wins with relish and growl about your losses. You start working out more in order to ensure that you don't lose again. e. You aren't particularly chatty about it, but if someone gets you talking, you provide the most comprehensive summary of the tournament, noting teams' weaknesses and strengths. f. You're probably not awake. And if you are, you're taking a brief but well-deserved break from it all.

Mostly Es: The Spies

Noble, strong, and friendly, you may not be Assassins (Black drawing up the team strategy, but you are Widow, Hawkeye) certainly a vital part of it, and are good at You are not the player that both giving and taking orders. You're a powpeople target; in fact, you erful player on the pitch who is fond of both might be the player people strategy and barreling through people, and often forget is even on the will do whatever it takes to help the team pitch. But you like it that score. You are not afraid of being physical in way. You hang back and games, but you also know where to draw the watch the game, waiting for the perfect moment line, and always apologize when you think to swoop in and strike. You can be physical if you you might have hurt someone. You more than most love meeting new need to be, but you prefer to use speed and surpeople, and are the person that tends to bring teams together. prise against your opponents. You're also very good

Mostly Ds: The Hulk

at studying team and individual strategies, and like to use this information to help your team.

Woe to the player that tries to Mostly Fs: Behind the Scenes (Nick oppose you, for your level of physFury, Pepper Potts) icality is borderline frightening to You're not a pitch person, for some reason. some. (Others find it amazingly It's not that you don't like the game - far cool.) As much as you may try from it. Sometimes you might like playing to think strategically as you play, when the opportunity arises. Your strengths, sometimes you just end up resorthowever, lie off the pitch, where you can ing to pure strength and speed analyze, plan, and organize. Maybe you to get the job done - and hey, it works. You are also an emotional know the rules inside and out; maybe you've got a knack for getting sponsors. Whatever it is you do, you have a certain level of control player, and draw your energy from the game around you. If you're having fun, it's wonderfully obvious, but if that stems from something other than your skills as a player, and you're proud of it. After all, where would Quidditch be without you? something's pissed you off, people can definitely tell.

From pitch to pan:

Bake sale and kitchen tips for Quidkids Food is an important but commonly overlooked part of the Quidditch experience. We depend on the right type of food to keep our energy up in the middle of tournaments and training, to help our bodies remain healthy so we don’t miss practice and school, and as a tool for fundraising by preying on the sweet tooth of our fellow student body. Unfortunately, many teams don’t know where to begin when it comes to baking. What should we make? What sells well? What concerns should we have when selling? For the answers to those questions and many more, this is From Pitch to Pan. Written by Gabe Wilson

Summer Butterbeer What you will need: 2 Tbs. Butter or Margarine 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk 1 Jar or Bottle Butterscotch Ice Cream Topping* 1-3 tsp salt, as needed 1 tsp. Butter flavouring, optional Cream Soda (diet not recommended)



Sell ice betwee

STEP 1: Melt butter in a



STEP 4: Taste the mixture now, small pot or pan over medium and add desired amount of salt. heat. Be reasonable, you don’t Butterbeer may be sweet but it want your base to over-flow. should not be overbearing. At this time, stir in butter flavouring, if desired. STEP 2: When butter is completely melted, add in both STEP 5: Reduce heat to low and Sweetened Condensed Milk let simmer, attended, for five minand Butterscotch Topping. utes. Remove from heat and add Mix thoroughly, it should be 1/3C of cream soda to base. Stir one consistent colour, usually well. This will prevent it from setting a light caramel. up too much when chilled, otherwise STEP 3: Stirring occasion-



ally, allow mixture to heat through. It’s okay if it starts to boil, but do not leave this unattended. The milk can burn if left at too high a heat for too long and then you will have to start over again.

the base will become too much of a solid and it won’t be any good until it warms up again.

STEP 6: Pour mixture into a bowl or heat-safe tupperware container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes or more.

Bake-sale Basic - Chocolate Chip Cookies What you will need:

½ C Vegetable Oil ½ C (1 stick) Butter, whatever you have on hand. 1 C Brown Sugar, packed ½ C Granulated (regular) Sugar 2 Eggs 2 tsp Vanilla ½ tsp Almond Extract, optional ½ tsp Cinnamon or ¼ tsp Cardamom, optional 2 ½ C All-Purpose Flour 2 C Chocolate Chips/Chunks (Apx. One Bag of Chips)* 1 C Chopped Nuts, optional

What to do:

cold butterbeer during fundraisers en April-October!

STEP 7: Fill cups with ice.

STEP 8: Using a spoon or

ladle, divide Butterbeer Base between the glasses. (no more than ¼ of a cup usually does the trick).

STEP 9: Top with cream

soda. It will form a harder foam on top, like when making an ice-cream float.

STEP 10: Enjoy! Makes apx. 10 servings. Great as a cool treat, party drink, or bake sale side-kick. Total Cost: $7-10, depending upon the local prices. *While any butterscotch topping will do, the one that yields the best result is the type that comes in the squeeze bottle, if available.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F 2. Using a mixer, blend together vegetable oil and butter in a large bowl until it forms a smooth mixture. Add both sugars to mix and cream them together until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently to ensure even mixing. 3. One at a time add eggs, vanilla, almond extract (optional) until smooth. Add in cinnamon/cardamom at this time, if desired. 4. Adding ¼-½ C at a time, mix in as much flour as you can with the mixer. When the dough starts to clump up on the beaters, remove from mixer, scrape beaters down with a spatula or spoon, and stir in flour by hand. 5. Stir in chocolate and nuts (optional) until evenly distributed through the dough. Every cookie should have chocolate in it! 6. Using either a cookie scoop or a soup spoon, drop dough on a greased cookie sheet 1 ½ - 2 inches apart to prevent a giant solid cookie sheet. 7. Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Every oven is different, and it is not a bad idea to check the cookies a few minutes before they should be done, and they may take longer than the allotted time. 8. Remove from oven and transfer cookies onto wire cooling racks. If the cookies are too soft and begin to fall apart, place baking sheet on cooling rack for five minutes or until they firm up a bit more, then transfer them safely to cool completely. Makes between 40-60 cookies depending upon size of scoop, should be packaged for sale in pairs or set aside for personal enjoyment.

Baking & cooking tips: Always have extra eggs on hand. This is the easiest ingredient to destroy and frequently the least available in a kitchen. There are only so many times neighbours will agree to lend you eggs at the last minute

If a batter is too thick, a small amount of water can be used to loosen it up without ruining the consistency. If a batter is too thin, flour can be added gradually until it gets to be about right.

Use nonstick spray on everything. If a recipe says it does not need to be sprayed, do it anyway. This includes any parchment lined pans - spray under, cupcake tins - spray after the papers have been put in, cookie sheets spray everything, and cake tins - spray, dust with flour, and spray again. Cooking spray can be the difference between a decent time in the kitchen and a stuck-on, ruined cupcake, can’t-break-it-up-with-steel-wool mess.

Kitchen fires can be easily put out by remaining calm, turning off any elements if possible, and smothering them with baking soda or flour.

*Since the chocolate is the important part of this cookie, it’s important to remember that a less expensive chocolate may not be as good for the recipe as something that costs a few dollars more. It’s better to take a little bigger cost than come up with something that’s only slightly edible.

Swag July 2012 50

Fantasy Quidditch Saturday, July 28, 2012 Austin, Texas For more information, contact:

Quidessential (QuidCab

Photoshopped by Rachel Ortego



Written by Tad Walters

Hello fellow Quidditch aficionados! If there’s anything you learned as a kid playing Scrabble with your grandma, it’s that “Qu” words are worth a LOT of points. And being a part of the Quidditch community for a year now, a few “Qu” words based on various topics have appeared. And so in this recurring article, I’ll define some of the most popular Quidditch words and give an example how to use the “Qu” jargon properly in a conversation with other Quidditch players. Also, Keep an eye out for random “Qu” words I’ve come to learn over the years, which have nothing to do with Quidditch, but are still fun to say. Here we go!

A person associated with the game of Quidditch. Noun.

“Since his first day of Quidditch practice, Harry has been considered a quidkid.” “You darn quidkids with your brooms and deflated volleyballs and such.”


A committed or sexual relationship between Quidditch players on the same team. Noun.

“Brad would have quidcest with Brad in a wig.” “The starting Keeper and Seeker have been having quidcest since January.”



Shaking to and fro.

“After playing Quidditch in the snow, Ronell caught himself quagswagging.” “When her team won the World Cup, Susy could be seen quagswagging with excitement.”

h c it d id u Q g in E mbarass You aren’t the only one! Read about other players most embarassing moments. Written by Zach Godwin

Flirting with Power The Boob Grab

This picture was taken at WCIII in my first ever quidditch match, and the funny thing is I didn’t even realize that happened until I saw the picture. I’m surprised I didn’t notice at the time because she appears to be grabbing quite a handful. She totally should have bought me dinner first. - Mollie Lensing. Texas A&M

56 Swag July 2012

When Anna Brisbin joined a Quidditch group I’m a part of, I started talking to her in the comments of a thread. She seemed cool so I started to subtly flirt with her. Then, a friend of mine sent me a message saying, “You know she’s Benepe’s girlfriend, right?” I didn’t, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t reply to that thread for the rest of the evening. - Anonymous, Texas

s t n e m o M h Brothers

I asked my t win brother, who had always been my polar opposite, if he had any embarrassing quidditch moments that he could remember from his short-lived quidditch career. His response? “Well, there was this one time, at practice, while I was on the pitch running around with a broom bet ween my legs.” Me: “And?” Brother: “Oh, that was it.” - Anonymous, Louisiana Boxers or Briefs?

My best friend is the captain of the newly formed quidditch team*? at my school. They had a tournament coming up at the school and I asked if there was anything I could do to help him, seeing that he was stressed to the max. He asked if I could snitch for the tournament. Seeing how humor-

ous this was going to be, I invited my crush to come watch. My crush was having a ball watching me climb fences and wrestle off people on brooms. During the last match though, I came waltzing back to the pitch, all cool and calm, when from behind I felt someone tug at my sock. But I quickly noticed that they grabbed more than just my sock. They pulled down my entire shorts, exposing my very kiddish Avengers boxer briefs. Months later, I’m still reminded from her about that embarrassing moment. Thanks quidditch. - Anoymous, Oklahoma

Caption Contest Written by Kenny Chilton

Introducing our very first issue’s caption contest.

Here are the rules:

1. You send in your hilarious captions to : with the subject line “July Caption Contest” and we pick the best one. 2. Make sure to tell us who you are in your email and what team you hail from. 3. If yours is selected, your caption will be in the next issue of SWAG, proudly emblazoned on one of our pages. Good luck!

Photograph by Lauren Carter

58 Swag July 2012

Thanks to our contributors and supporters: Thanks for letting us use your photographs: Lauren Carter Rachel Ortego Matt Hellman Will Michels Brad Armentor Sam Medney Sophie Bonifaz Sarah Holub Matt Ziff Melissa DeVarney Emily Arroyave Elizabeth Theriot Robert Szabo Bryan Bae Thomas Quine Brenda Gottsabend Jim Bahn Arkansas Razobacks

Thanks for letting us use your brains: Rachel Harrison Sarah Kneiling

Thanks for Advertisering with us: Peterson’s Broomsticks Quiyk

If you were not properly credited we deeply apologize. Feel free to email us and let us know and we’ll give you the credit you deserve!

Photograph by Will Michels

Next Issue: Sepetember 2012

Stay Swag

SWAG Issue 1  

The Swag-a-zine, also known as the Southwest Area Gazette, is collaborative regional magazine. This every other month 'zine touches base wit...

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