Quidditch Comes to Naperville

Seekers, beaters, chasers and a snitch – the fundamentals of Quidditch, the magical game created by author J.K. Rowling in her Harry Potter novels, now brought to life right here in Naperville.

11-year-old Colette was thrilled with her role, explaining, “I’m a beater, that means I get to throw balls at people.”

6th through 12th graders gathered at Wil-O-Way Park to take part in the game, an event sponsored by the Naperville Public Library for the second year in a row.

“Quidditch is not a sport that you can just get together with your friends and play every single day,” says Kiersten Doucette, Teen Services Librarian at Nichols Library. “So it’s a really neat experience for them to get to learn a little bit more about it and make the books come to life.”

The library brought in some members of Loyola University’s Quidditch team to train the players and act as coaches. With broomsticks in hand, players took to the field.

13-year-old Alex told us how it worked. “You have three beaters and they are trying to hit other people with a dodgeball,” he said. “And they want to stop people from running with the ball or make them stop what they’re doing and just run back. And then the chasers, they are getting the ball and they’re on the offense trying to score. And then the keeper saves the goals.”

Goals are ten points each, but if you’re lucky enough to catch the snitch, you’ll get an extra 30. Whether you’re a big winner, or have a score that must not be named by the end you’ll solemnly swear you had a great time.

Alex definitely did. He shares, “I’ve read all the books and it’s always seemed like an interesting game, and now that you can actually experience it, it’s a lot of fun.”

The game was held in honor of Harry Potter’s birthday, which is July 31.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena and Kim Pirc report.

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