It’s Settled: Let Quidditch Live
November 18, 2011 • 715 views
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Let me preface this column with a quick disclaimer: I am mad about the cancellation of Quidditch night. I wanted nothing more than to finish the game, and I wasn’t even on Gryffindor or Slytherin! I tried to start a “Let Them Play” chant when I heard they were going to end it. There was so much competitive energy flowing through the gym that I literally could not believe that someone would try to end it.
But as much as I hate to admit it, what happened on Quidditch night was probably the only thing Mr. Ferguson could have done to control the situation. The game was getting progressively more violent, tensions were heightened, and most importantly, no one signed any liability waivers. I accept what happened. I am not going argue with the solution, but I will argue with the way in which it was handled.
The game was intense for the crowd and the players. As a chaser for Ravenclaw, I was hyped up and had enough energy to try to barrel through Zander Levit (which didn’t go so well). My team was getting pummeled, and I ended up flat on my back more times than I’d like to count, and yet I can still say that Monday night was the most fun I have had in a long time.
Everyone was getting angry, but in an exhilarating way that’s hard to describe. The Slytherin and Gryffindor players wanted nothing more in that moment than to finish the game and leave all of their anger and hostility on the pitch.
Now imagine being part of this and having someone come and tell you it’s all over. I understand that “it was fun” is not a good excuse for allowing violence to happen, but the way it happened was all-wrong.
There’s nothing teenagers hate more than being yelled at by adults, so compound that with the fact that these adults were putting an end to what had been two hours of blissful chaos and you’re going to get over a hundred angry teenagers who will never forget what happened and how it happened.
Eject the offending players, but don’t end the game for everyone. There were only a few minutes left until the snitch had to return to the gym, so just let them finish it out and then don’t let them play any other games.
This actually brings me to my next motion, which I think is the most important to everyone in the school. This should not be the end of Quidditch at Harriton forever. It shouldn’t even be the end for this year.
As I said before, the players put all of their heart into these games, and the fans were just as emotionally involved. In other words, it was a total success.
The point of this whole endeavor was to get students involved in a fun school activity and put on a good show for all of the fans, and it did just that.
Yes, the incident that ended the tournament was part of the game. Should the school be encouraging this kind of activity? Maybe not, but like any other sport, there are risks that come with the rewards. There are simple ways to deal with these risks too: liability waivers and elbow pads, like any other sport.
Informally, every player agreed that they knew that Quidditch is a rough contact sport, and were ready to take any hits for the team for the chance to play. Unfortunately, an informal agreement isn’t enough to keep you from getting injured or from your parents getting angry. Easy fix: Treat quidditch like any other sport, complete with liability waivers. Get adult referees so there’s no question of whether the rules are being enforced, and it wouldn’t hurt to call some roughness fouls.
Still worried about injuries? Play on the turf, or get knee and elbow pads. There’s a good reason most contact sports require pads, and Quidditch is no different.
Anyway, the point I want to make is that you can’t blame the school entirely for ending the match so suddenly. For them, the choice was simple: end the game and anger students or let a potential brawl happen on school grounds, complete with injured players, and angry parents.
Still, that being said, they should bring back Quidditch. As long as the fans and players get hype and participate wholeheartedly, this can and should remain a long-time tradition at Harriton.