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Quidditch-inspired quadball looks to rebuild for spring

Courtesy of Rowan Marusek
Members of the quadball team compete in fall 2022.

The Kent State quadball team, formerly known as the Quidditch team, was ready to compete against other colleges and teams this season.

Earlier in the fall semester, the Soaring Black Squirrels traveled to Case Western Reserve University for a quadball tournament. In the past, the team had traveled to Bowling Green and Ohio State.

But low participation numbers cut the season short, and the team is now forced to wait until the spring season to compete again. Quadball president and captain Rowan Marusek said other universities have these recruiting issues, too.

“It is sad that many other teams are in the same position as we are, but I am still grateful that there is a lot of conversation about how to recruit and retain new players,” Marusek said.

Quadball, based on the sport Quidditch from the “Harry Potter” franchise, features up to seven players from each team on the field at once. Each team is composed of four chasers, two beaters, one keeper and one seeker.

Quadball is a full-contact, mixed-gender sport that institutes different aspects from sports such as rugby, dodgeball and soccer. The goal is to get a ball into a set of three hoops while players keep a “broom” between their legs.

Bringing on the recruiting

Although the club team ended up with a smaller roster than anticipated, Marusek said the club used numerous ways to recruit.

“We created posters that we hung up in the residence halls and in some of the community areas as well like the Rec Center,” Marusek said. “There was also a digital advertisement that we had created to try and gain more players that were put up on some of the digital boards around the campus.”

Marusek said he reached out to some of the other teams and their presidents to see how they recruited.

“We had seven people show up to the tryout, and three of them were returning players from last year,” Marusek said. “A couple days ago, I reached out to the former president of the Bowling Green team because they were also struggling with recruitment a few years ago. This former president was able to turn the team around and now they have a huge number of players that are wanting to play.”

He said he has a meeting scheduled with the former BGSU quadball president to see what strategies and tactics they used to get their program fully staffed.

“There are a lot of people who care about quadball and want to see it continue to grow,” Marusek said. “Throughout the semester, it is clear how supportive the community is. Moving forward, we will be able to lean on that community to help us rebuild, and I feel very optimistic for the future of the Soaring Black Squirrels.”

Seeing how other college teams recruit was helpful, Marusek said, and he hopes to increase the number of players going into the spring season.

The quadball team has recruited at the university’s Blastoff and Black Squirrel Fest events with a table for people to learn more information on the team.

For the last two years, the team has also been invited to the Wizardly World of Kent festival, held downtown in the summer, to spread awareness about the program to the community.

Marusek said the team and the atmosphere attracts a unique group of people to the sport.

“It brings in an interesting mix of people, bringing in athletes and nerds to the sport, and it’s a unique group that you won’t find in other places,” Marusek said.“There’s a really strong community throughout Ohio and the country that love the sport and the people that participate in it. By joining the team, anyone can be a part of the tight knit, fun community that we have.”

Ethan Madden is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]

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