Categorized | Sports

Quidditch encourages inclusivity on the field

Saeed Husain

Sports Editor 

Sports could be considered a powerful means of inclusivity. While there remain economic and social barriers to playing some sports or attaining a high level of skill in play, funding and the development of sporting infrastructure has made it relatively easier for people from all backgrounds — as opposed to historical segregation and the discrimination in resources — to become involved.

However, some sports, crudely put, do a better job than others. Quidditch is one of them, offering a strong basis for gender inclusivity. Typically played as a club sport around the world, including in Wooster, the sport encourages people from all backgrounds to become involved. 

The Voice  profiled the Quidditch Club, its team officially known as The Wooster Scottish Nationals and affiliated with United States Quidditch (USQ), the governing body for the sport in the country. According to the USQ website (USQuidditch.org), the organization currently serves 150 teams across the nation, and over 4,000 players.

On gender inclusivity in sports, Quidditch could be a considered a leader. Title IX allows for equitable segregation based on gender. However, USQ takes this a step further by providing an even more equitable playing environment. With its Title 9 ¾ (named for both the anti-gender discrimination law and the fictional platform at Kings Cross Station in the “Harry Potter” series), USQ allows no more than four individuals (out of seven) from one gender to be on the playing field at a time. 

Besides breaking down gender barriers, Quidditch also cuts across athletic divisions.

As most might know, Wooster is an NCAA Division III school, which means it competes in sporting terms with schools of comparable size and resources. Quidditch does not have any divisions, and the Wooster Scottish Nationals regularly compete against state schools such as The Ohio State University, Michigan State University and Indiana University. 

Nathaniel Davis ’19, president of the Wooster Scottish Nationals commented, “Unlike varsity sports [at Wooster], we’re going up against bigger and harder teams, bigger schools, and we have to always be stepping it up.”

“One of our challenges now [as the program has progressed], however, is finding good competition. Our team does really well against schools our size and are currently known as a team that will give large schools a tough time. However, scheduling matches against schools that we will have competitive games against is something we keep working on,” he said.

 As Davis points out, the club has been historically competitive. This meant that practices would be run on a tight schedule, with the team dead set on improving. For this season, practices revolve more around enjoying the sport and having a good experience. 

“It’s just a matter of adjusting our leadership to better meet the needs of our current players,” he said. 

“This is one of the advantages of being a club sport. We don’t have to have the ‘win win, go get ‘em’ mentality all the time; we can adjust our leadership style to meet the needs of our current players.”

Explaining this change in needs, from being a club geared towards competition to becoming one which fosters greater inclusivity and focuses on the social aspect of quidditch, Davis explained how it is dependent on the people involved with the club that year. 

“[It] depends on who shows up, and what their dynamic is like. We’ve had people in the past who had played sports in high school, were very team oriented and focused on the athletic component of the club sport,” said Davis.

“Lately we’ve been having people who are still interested in playing the sport, and enjoy playing the sport, but are more interested in the social aspect of the team.”

In conclusion, Davis outlined the purpose of the Wooster Scottish Nationals. He said that the club believes it should be a place where those that participate are respected and encouraged, and have their needs met both athletically and socially. Dependent on this, the club could swing in either direction, recognizing which needs are more pressing. 

This post was written by:

- who has written 63 posts on The Wooster Voice.


Contact the author

Leave a Reply