Joke Issue: Quidditch becomes newest varsity sport
April 4, 2012, 12:31 am·
There’s a magical atmosphere on campus.
On Wednesday, Penn’s athletic director Steve Bilsky announced that Penn would add a varsity team next year: Quidditch.
The Quakers were always going to field another varsity team, the only question was: ice hockey or Quidditch?
Bilsky outlined several reasons as to why Quidditch won out, first and foremost being that “the recognition and interest among the Penn student body is simply higher for Quidditch.”
“It’s hard to imagine anyone showing up to watch hockey,” he added and admitted poor attendance in other sports had factored into his decision.
Anjani Vedula, the original founder of Penn Quidditch as a recreational sport, was ecstatic.
“I can’t believe we won recognition on this level so quickly,” she said, having founded the recreational club less than two years ago.
Vedula didn’t seem to be preoccupied with the fact that no other college had a varsity squad.
“While others form programs, we can practice. By the time we play anyone, we’ll be really good.”
On the other side, Penn club hockey coach Scott Carmack was incensed.
“There’s more interest?” he asked incredulously. “They have no one to play against. It’s bad enough we’re funding a fictional sport. Now we expect students to attend games that don’t exist.”
Bilsky, however, didn’t seem to take much stock in Carmack’s argument. He also noted that Quidditch teams, unlike hockey teams, wouldn’t “have to worry about immigration and deportation problems” as much.
Indeed, few Canadians have illegally crossed the U.S.-Canada border to play Quidditch.
Department of Homeland Security issues aside, Quidditch would also require less attention from the Penn sports medicine staff.
“Hockey’s also a rough sport,” Bilsky responded. “It seems to defy Quaker tenets.”
But despite having these advantages over hockey, the Quidditch team still lacks one thing.
“It was a shame when I heard Hermione was going to Brown,” Bilsky said.
“You hate to lose out on a co-ed like that. Hopefully the program will help to recruit star witches going forward.”
For more information, check out this related story.