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Triwizard Tournament hits campus to raise money for URI Quidditch Club

By Kimberly DeLande
On November 7, 2011



The University of Rhode Island's Quidditch Club brought the Harry Potter book series to the quadrangle during its first Triwizard Tournament last Friday on the Quadrangle.

The Triwizard Tournament consisted of three events: a cross-campus scavenger hunt, an obstacle course and catch the "golden snitch" battles.

Zara Collier, President of the Quidditch Club, said the club put together events that would correspond to the three tasks that took place in the Triwizard Tournament of the Harry Potter books.

During the scavenger hunt, players searched the upper portion of the campus looking for clues that would help them uncover the location of letters hidden across campus. When all the letters were found and unscrambled, they spelt out the phrase: Tom Marvolo Riddle, the name of Lord Voldemort, the villian of the "Harry Potter" series. The goal of the challenge was to find the letters and unscramble the phrase as quickly as possible.

The obstacle course had contestants dodging water balloons while running toward a hoop that they would throw a ball through. The contestants then had to complete the obstacle course backwards, adding to the difficulty. The team able to clear the course the fastest won the event.

In the last event of the tournament, players competed against each other to catch the snitch, a golden object that is in play during Quidditch games. The club's version of a snitch was someone dressed in yellow and with a tennis ball in a sock strapped to his or her waist.

The goal of this event was to "catch" the snitch that was attached to the participants side. Two snitches were released onto the quad, and whoever was able to catch the Snitch first won the game.

In the books, contestants had to retrieve an egg from a dragon, swim through underwater obstacles and find their way through a maze. In this way, the scavenger hunt was meant to emulate the maze, the obstacle course used water balloons for the feel of an ‘underwater' event, and catching the Snitch was a throwback to  Quidditch.

The winning team of the Triwizard Tournament was the Flaming Horcruxes. They received a pound of candy, a Hogwarts scarf and a Quidditch Club T-shirt signed by all its members.

While the event was put together as a means for the Quidditch Club to gain exposure and to have fun, it also served as a means for the Quidditch Club to raise funds. Twenty teams each paid roughly $5 to enter the tournament.

The money raised from the event will go toward buying new Quidditch gear and to pay for other expenses, such as going to the Quidditch World Cup on Randall's Island, N.Y. this year. While the Quidditch Club is attending as spectators only, Collier hopes they can partake in the action next year.

"We're a relatively new club, so we haven't had a chance to be made into an ‘official' Quidditch team yet," Collier said. "The money from this event will help pay the fees needed to join the International Quidditch Association."

The Quidditch Club currently does not have official matches with other colleges. However, they sometimes have scrimmages with other university Quidditch clubs, such as the one at Johnston and Wales University (JWU). Members from the JWU Quidditch Club also appeared at the Triwizard Tournament, to help set up the obstacle course, scavenger hunt and register people for the event

Seeker and Keeper of the Quidditch Club, William Potter. felt that the event was an overall success.

"The event was a lot of fun," Potter said. "I think next year a lot more people will take part, or join the team because of how great everything was today."

James Brooks, another member of the Quidditch club, felt the event went well, especially considering that this was the Quidditch Club's first Triwizard Tournament and attempt at fundraising.

"Next year, we'll schedule it better," Brooks said. "We knew a lot of people that wanted to come but couldn't make it because of class or band practice."

URI's Quidditch team meets on Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m. in Room 308 of the Memorial Union.

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