BOISE -- Boise State is home to many great teams. We all know about Bronco football. The men's basketball team is likely heading to the NCAA tournament this year. Both the wrestling and gymanstics teams are ranked. And, you can now add a new team to that list of great BSU squads -- the quidditch team.
Quidditch is the sport of choice for the characters in the wildly popular Harry Potter book and movie series. And now, it's landed at Boise State.
"I've loved Harry Potter, like, my whole life," said Stewart Driflot, captain and founder of the Boise State team.
But until last year, even he didn't realize quidditch was a real sport. "It's like, 'What? That's stupid. There's no such thing as quidditch!'"
But there is. And now there's a team at BSU, the Abraxans. An Abraxan is kind of like a Bronco, except it flies. "We tried to keep it equestrial," said Driflot.
And in many ways, this quidditch can only be kind of like Harry Potter's quidditch. That's considering the brooms don't fly (unfortunately), and the tiny, self-aware golden snitch is played by a guy in yellow.
"They're bound by physics," said Driflot.
But, the essence of the sport is the same. It's full-contact, and chasers try to score goals with the quaffle, avoiding the beaters and bludgers, while the seekers try to grab the snitch.
"There's a lot of people that will just ... see the hoops and they'll see the brooms, and they'll say, 'yeah, quidditch!'" said Driflot. "And there are some of them that are like, 'what are they doing?'"
Kym Couch is a double major in political science and psychology. She's also BSU's seeker. "A lot of people ask, 'well, do your brooms fly?' No, of course not. That would be silly."
What's not silly is the growing popularity of the sport.
"I'm curious to see how it all plays out," said Lola Scaggs, one of many fans who saw their first quidditch match on Sunday, as Boise State faced rival Idaho. "Any reason to put on my blue gear."
In fact, Boise State Quidditch has traveled to neighboring states to compete, there are hundreds of quidditch teams nationwide, and an International Quidditch Association. But, while quidditch will probably never reach the status of our national pastime, these chasers, beaters, keepers, and seekers seem happy to just have it as their pastime.
"It's just fun. It's a good time," says Driflot.
If you'd like to play, you don't even have to be a student at Boise State. You can contact Stewart on the BSU Quidditch Facebook page. You can get more information on the sport from the International Quidditch Association.