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Quiddich match gets bogged down

The field was muddied, the players were soaked, and their outfits were ridiculous, but the match continued to the delight of nearly one hundred fans, eager to witness the first−ever Quiddich game played at McCarren Park.

The contest, between two teams in a college Quiddich league, came about when MTV called the league’s president offering the opportunity to film a Quiddich match in Williamsburg as a two−minute promotional clip for the upcoming Harry Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Half Blood−Prince,” which will be released this week.

“We chose McCarren because New York City is centrally located, even though many of the teams are in Boston and Vermont, and this is a nice muddy field,” said Alex Benepe, who runs the Quiddich league.

For six hours, a team of MTV producers trolloped around the McCarren ballfields (Driggs Avenue and Lorimer Street), filming an official match between Middlebury and Emerson Colleges, playing as Gryffindor and Slytherin and posing for several set pieces of action shots.

By the end of it all, the players’ shoes were caked in mud and their shorts and capes (yes, capes) streaked with moisture and dirt. Yet their spirits were soaring, even if they couldn’t actually fly.

“People got thrown to the ground and I got thrown into a puddle,” said Emerson student and chaser Elizabeth Pashley. “The mud ended up helping, otherwise I would have hit gravel.”

Middlebury ended up winning the match, 50 to 30, though the rules of the league are a bit different from the ones in the Harry Potter novels. Each snatch is worth 30 points instead of 150 because it is difficult to score, and every time a player gets out, he or she has to run around a series of hoops at the edge of the field.

Despite the damp playing conditions, MTV got most of its shots, and maybe McCarren Park received a little local attention too. “With the trees and simple background, McCarren Field was the best possible location for us,” said Janice Gatti, a spokesperson for MTV. “We needed to shoot in New York City, but wanted to do so in a park that looked like it could be anywhere in the world.” For more information, visit www.collegequiddich.com.

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