The Facebook page of Baton Rouge and New Orleans community quidditch team, The Gulf Coast Gumbeaux says, “Anyone is welcome to tryout if they have the drive and determination to do whatever it takes to win.”
The team hosts open summer practices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge with tryouts for the fall roster in late August as well as early January for the spring roster. The Gumbeaux’s recruitment efforts appear to be working, Two USM students were on the Gumbeaux’s roster when it placed in the United States Quidditch Southwest regional tournament on Feb. 20 and 21. Following the victory, the team is preparing to represent Louisiana at USQ Quidditch Cup 9 in April in its first year of existence.
USM news editorial major Nick Kubicki founded the Southern Miss Quidditch team, which he left in 2015. He currently plays the chaser position for the Gulf Coast Gumbeaux Quidditch team.
Kubicki said he, fellow USM teammate Heather Burg and the rest of the team feels confident heading into the National Championships in April.
“We’re ecstatic,” Kubicki said. “It wasn’t guaranteed that we would make it, but we definitely had a hell of a chance.”
There are four different positions with seven players on each team. The positions for each team involve three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and a seeker, and there are two different balls with in play.
As chaser, Kubicki is charged with scoring by throwing a ball called the “quaffle” through one the opposing team’s three goals, which are guarded by keepers. They all must contend with beaters, who use dodgeballs in order to eliminate enemy players in the game.
According to the USM Quidditch site, quidditch is a full contact sport combining elements of dodgeball, flag football, rugby, basketball and soccer.
Kubicki encourages students interested in quidditch to try it out.
“My general go-to answer that I say to everyone all the time is try it out,” Kubicki said. He said there is no way to judge the sport unless one has tried to play it.
Biological sciences major Brittany Laurent plays the beater position on the Southern Miss Quidditch team, which she joined two years ago. As beater, she is to hit the other team’s players with bludgers and block the enemy team’s beaters from hitting her team.
Laurent said the sport is unique because of its combined elements from several other sports.
“Quidditch is a cross of everything,” Laurent said. “It’s a sport you’re probably never going to see again.”
Laurent said she is proud of the USM players on the Gumbeaux team.
“The [U.S.] Cup is an accomplishment for any team,” Laurent said.