A few years ago, I heard somewhere, somehow, that people were playing Quidditch. In real life. Like, real people, muggles like me (as much as I wish that I were otherwise), were playing Quidditch. Like, with brooms and hoops and balls, although sadly without flying.
I thought that that was possibly the best idea that I’d ever heard (short of being a mangaka)! (Except for the not-flying part)
So, I watched some YouTube videos about it. I looked desperately in both English and Japanese for a team based in Tokyo. Anywhere in Tokyo. For some inconceivable reason (Harry Potter is popular in Japan) there weren’t any! So, I got together with a friend and talked about starting one. But while we both had the time to participate in one, neither of us had the time to start up and maintain a team. Not to mention the logistics of lugging all of the equipment to and from whatever park we wanted to play at (we were thinking of using Yoyogi Park) without either of us owning a car.
So, yeah, sadly it just wasn’t in the cards.
But when I got it into my head a few years ago that it would be nice to live in Hawaii one day, I went and checked to see if they had a Quidditch team. And guess what?! YEP! They do! They’re called The Nightmarchers. Last month, I joined and I’ve never looked back. IT IS SO MUCH FUN!!
The first time I went, there was only a handful of people. Then, the second time (where this photo is from), there were a few more. 🙂
A few of us sat down to dinner after the game, at the Ala Moana mall across the street (the biggest outdoor mall in the world), and started talking about how to get more players, how to make more people interested. There were a lot of ideas batted around, like where to advertise, and how to use social media to get our name out there. A lot of people walk by while we’re playing, since this is a busy park, too.
We are collectively working on the social media (I’m helping by posting updates on our weekly practice on the Facebook group, and by managing the Tumblr account. I’m now the official team photographer, too!), and something else I suggested was to vote on team colors (we chose blue and silver in the end), and to paint the quidditch hoops to make them look cooler.
So, the week before last, we took a day, thinking that it’d be long enough to paint them. Nope. It took four days, and they were barely ready in time for practice! But I got to know Seneca (team founder), Justin, and Jason reaaaaaalllllyyyy well. No, not THAT way! Get your mind out of the gutter, you guys. ;P
So, here is Seneca. He founded the Nightmarchers two years ago, and is also the team captain and referee.
This is Jason. I invited him to Quidditch (had met him the week before at the TakuTaku beach event that I went to, and he gave me a ride home. We geeked about everything together XD), and he took to it immediately!
This is Justin. He is the co-captain, and really easy-going and friendly. We’ve had a blast doing lots of things, like stargazing the other night (more about that soon!).
Gee, guess who that is! I need to get better clothes now that I’m actually here. As soon as I have a better budget…
We painted and painted… what got us in the end was the drying time! It’s hot in Hawaii, but also humid, so it takes a lot of time to dry. Then, on top of that, none of us lived in a house with a yard to paint in, so we just used parks, which meant packing all of the poles up every time.
We had to repair the paint over and over again, because we had packed them away too early the night before. It was a learning process for sure.
But we had so much fun!
Here they are on the day before the next practice, with their beautiful silver stripes on. It was a gorgeous, almost chrome color… until we put the sealant on. That really dulled the gloss, which made me a bit sad.
So, we had practice, with the new poles, and had more and more people come up to us. The membership is really growing now..
And here are some photos from last week that I took (sorry, that means that I’m not in them!). It was fun, and we had people asking all over if we were really playing Quidditch!
Oh, yes, also let me explain the game very briefly. Like in the magical version, there are chasers, beaters, a keeper, and a seeker for every team. The chasers play with the quaffle (slightly deflated volleyball), and are responsible for scoring goals, each of which is worth ten points. The beaters (which is what I will probably be) are responsible for tagging people out by hitting them with the bludgers (slightly deflated dodgeballs). The keepers defend their team’s goal, and the seekers try to chase the snitch (a person dressed in yell0w). Right now, we’re playing without seekers, although we do have one. There just aren’t enough people, really. 😉 Not YET, anyways!
And it’s pretty cool that in the end, when we’re all exhausted from practice, we are treated to a gorgeous sunset over the beach. Yes, we play on a beach. Where better? 😀
I’m just so totally excited about this team! It’s never been to any of the USQ (United States Quidditch association) playoff matches. Most teams have matches against other nearby teams, but as this is Hawaii, there is nowhere really that we can go without it costing a LOT. Plus, the membership has been really spotty. But I hope to help change that, and we are talking about shooting for a match this winter on the mainland….
I can’t wait!!!!
So, I just had to write about Quidditch. It’s amazing fun, and everyone nerdy should definitely give it a shot! I mean, you’re running with a broom between your legs! Right now, we’re using pipes because that’s a lot cheaper, but we will upgrade eventually. 🙂