Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants

Hitditch Cup is a Hit to Showcase Women in Sport

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HitditchWhat do you get when you cross Harry Potter fandom and the fastest-growing women’s sport in the world? The Hitditch Cup, hosted by Rat City Rollergirls, of course!

As far as sports and fandom crossovers go, the Hitditch Cup is an apt and often hilarious way of combining roller derby with the Harry Potter fandom. Rat City skater Sher Nobyl filled me in on some of its history: “The original inspiration for the Hitditch Cup was after realizing the personalities of current four home teams of Rat City loosely corresponded with the four houses of Hogwarts,” she said. “So we decided to do a themed fundraiser bout because Harry Potter has so much to draw from: food, costumes, props, spells, and so on.”

This past May was the second time the Hitditch Cup was held at the Rat’s Nest (the RCRG venue) in Shoreline, where fans entered via Platform 9¾, and skaters were put into teams in a sorting ceremony, complete with a real sorting hat. This also mixed up the home teams to make new and different house teams.

Harry Potter was available to help sort skaters into their houses. Image source: James McDaniel Photography.

Harry Potter was available to help sort skaters into their houses.
Image source: James McDaniel Photography.

Each skater also got to pick a new derby name to skate under; derby names are often based on puns, and the Hitditch Cup probably brought out what is arguably the most extensive roll call of Harry Potter-themed names in the world, including Professor McGonnakill, Snitch Please and Choke Chang.

Even the officials got in on the theme--that's a time-turner around the jam timer's neck! Image source: James McDaniel Phtoography

Even the officials got in on the theme–that’s a time-turner around the jam timer’s neck!
Image source: James McDaniel Photography.

Essentially, roller derby is a point-scoring game, one player on each team (the jammer) earns one point for every opposing skater they pass. The remaining skaters (the blockers) play both offense and defense at the same time—they have to help their own jammer through, while blocking the opposing jammer, usually by hitting them, or forcing them out of bounds. Roller derby requires agility, stability on skates, speed control, peripheral vision and communication.

Slytherin blockers push the Ravenclaw jammer out of play.  Image source: Diz Ruptive Photography

Slytherin blockers work to force the Ravenclaw jammer out of play.
Image source: Diz Ruptive Photography.

For the Hitditch Cup, the houses competed in a short tournament to qualify for the championship bout. However, it wouldn’t be the Hitditch Cup without some magic! In addition to scoring points on the track, skaters were also subject to spells that spectators could buy and “cast” to change the rules of the game.

Casting wingardium leviosa on a skater meant that they had “fly” through the pack on a broom, or the confundus charm mean that everyone on the track had to play the entire jam in the opposite direction. Using the leg-locker curse meant that the jammer couldn’t skate through the pack, and instead had to be pushed by her team members, and casting expecto patronum would scare the dementors from Azkaban (otherwise known as the penalty box) so all skaters could escape and get back onto the track!

The Protego (shield) charm in action, with a side of Ridikkulus. Image source: Diz Ruptive Photography

The Protego (shield) charm in action, with a side of Ridikkulus.
Image source: Diz Ruptive Photography.

There were also plenty of other items from Potterverse, such as homemade wands and ties, and butterbeer and jellybeans were available at the refreshment stand. At halftime, Seattle Quidditch made an appearance to host a Kidditch game for the children in the audience.

Kidditch in action. Image source: Danny Ngan Photography

Kidditch in action.
Image source: Danny Ngan Photography.

Despite its magical trappings, the Hitditch Cup was still fiercely fought, with Gryffindor winning over Slytherin in the championship. However, just like in Harry Potter, house points were also awarded on the basis of house member activity, even if they weren’t competing. Points were given to the loudest cheer section, or to the audience member with the best Potter-themed costume, and Slytherin came out triumphant for the House Cup.

Image source: Danny Ngan Photography.

Some of the awards at Hitditch Cup. Instead of MVPs, “Most Valuable Wizard” was awarded. Image source: Danny Ngan Photography.

Overall, there were about 300 people in attendance. Sher Nobyl says that there are plans to continue the Hitditch Cup next year, and even possibly expand it to be a Triwizard Tournament, where two other nearby leagues can also participate in the fun. After all—as Sher Nobyl says—“who doesn’t love derby and Harry Potter, right?”

Rat City’s all-star team is currently ranked number 16 in the world, and will be facing the Jet City Bombers tomorrow (June 27) at the Rat’s Nest.

This post was originally published on GeekGirlCon’s blog.

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