I’d personally like to respond to the “response” from the IQA. I am the captain of the Smith Quidditch team, and also one of the 7 women that started this team. I have raised this team, fought with this team, loved this team, and it is my honor to serve as the captain of the Smith team. Let me first tell you a little about Smithies. We’re headstrong, driven, passionate people. We fight for what our passions are and for what is right. Our connection to the history of our school is one of the most important connections we have, the connection to the thousands of women that have gone before us including Gloria Steinem, Julia Child, Betty Friedan, Tammy Baldwin and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Smith College is also the place where Women’s Basketball started. Think about that.

We play AS Smith College because we LOVE our school. Every other co-ed team be it community or school team gets to play as a representative of their community, and why shouldn’t Smith be able to do the same? When we step onto the field, be it in practice or for a game, we ARE Smith. We represent and hold with us the history, the power, and the pride that comes along with a being a Smithie.

I think it’s important to remind everyone that comes across this response that Smith attempted to have a dialogue with the Board when there was a first questioning of the gender rule, to which the IQA rarely responded. There’s been no attempt to talk with us about what this all means for us despite the fact that we’ve been loyal and supportive members of the IQA for the last 3 years. I am honestly confused by the notion of having a competitive advantage because over the last three years we have played against co-ed teams and we have never had a competitive advantage. We LOVE playing co-ed teams, because we love Quidditch and the fact that everyone gets to represent their schools and their communities. Who is to say that in order for us to be “equal” on the playing field we have to have men?

We’re not asking for the IQA to have single sex teams, what we’re asking for is to keep the exemption clause in for single-sex institutions.

Also, let’s talk about “minimal effort on the part of the teams to recruit players or alternate gender identities.”

Here are the problems:

1. Although there are 3 co-ed schools in our valley, the ease of being able to get men from their campuses to ours is over an hour bus ride. Also, UMass Amherst (whose team we adore, love, and consider our best friends) has their own team, meaning that if anyone from Amherst or Hampshire desired to play Quidditch it would be much easier for them to get to UMass’ campus than get to ours.

2. To recruit students at Smith College of a gender identity that is not female is to start an inappropriate and offensive campaign. We’re not lacking in people who want to play with us, and two different situations would most likely arise: a) our dedicated players would have to spend more time on the sidelines, or b) we will have a socially unacceptable recruitment campaign that targets members of our community. Thus forcing people to out themselves as not identifying as female. The single sex institution clause protects our players from being out-ed.

3. Why is it so wrong that we want to play as a representative of our school? This is our community. We want to play as our community.

So there are no all-male teams from single sex institutions who are IQA members or trying to get IQA membership. This means that this issue affects all-women’s teams. It doesn’t matter if there’s an argument that women’s teams from women’s colleges should be allowed to play because they’re constantly at a disadvantage. But guess what, my team plays differently than every other coed team out there. Because there is a biological difference between male bodied and female bodied persons. My team trains specifically to over come this. We aren’t playing a pity card, we are not weak, we are Quidditch players. We just want to be able to do this as a representation of Smith College. We’re not asking to be allowed to play as our team because we’re always at a competitive disadvantage because we’re not. We’re overcoming these things everyday. It means we play a different way than most teams, it means that we focus on different things during practice.

Do you know what it’s like to have to go to a tournament and have your player’s gender questioned? I have and have had players on my team who do not conform with the gender binary. If anyone is going to be educated and well versed on the gender spectrum, it’s going to be this team. I have brought my team to competitions and tournaments previously where I have been asked if my players were female becase “they didn’t look female.” How, may I ask, is anyone going to “prove” the gender identity of my players? On top of that you’re asking my players to out themselves, something I am not comfortable with. Instead of my players feeling safe on the field and loving Quidditch the way that they do, they have to be afraid that someone’s going to ask them what their gender identity is. I refuse to put my players in a situation where they could be subjected to the ignorance of the gender spectrum.

A few closing comments, I started this team because I love Quidditch and community it supports. This team has taught me so much, and given so much to the sport and to take it away from them is unfair. We are proud of who we are. We’re not looking to get an exemption because we are women. We’re asking for the IQA to put back in their clause that allows single sex institutions to field teams representative of their schools and communities. We just want to be able to play as Smith. We’re not asking for more female teams or male teams from outside of their institutions, we just want these schools to be able to field teams of their own.

I love this team, I love this sport, I love what it stands for, at least until my teams being told it can no longer exist.

- Gabrielle Martone

Please support our cause by reading our petition and providing a signature!  The link is below:


Name: Erika Correll

Year: 2016
Position: Chaser
Major: Neuroscience
Hometown: Charlestown, Indiana
Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff
When did you start playing: This is my first year playing.
Favorite Quidditch Memory: I was forced/ got the opportunity to smack an opponent in the face for breaking my broom while borrowing it during another game. There is now a .gif of it.
When did you realize Quidditch was for you: I felt completely comfortable to be myself around all my teammates. They are incredible people and really make the game even more worthwhile.
Favorite Color: Forest Green
Life Ambitions: I hope to one day own a puppy and work on neuroscience research.
Why do you love Quidditch: It’s about getting together and having fun. It’s about being active and just enjoying an acitivity with your friends. I love the inclusiveness of the sport and how wonderful the array of different people who play is.
Why did you start playing Quidditch: I started playing because I had never played before and felt as if it could be something I’d enjoy as a way to keep active and keep involved. Turned out I was right! Other Hobbies: Adventuring, Yoga, Playing Ukulele, and Petting Puppies
Most Awkward Quidditch Moment: When I didn’t even notice that someone’s arm was around my neck and I kept trying to struggle free with the qauffle.
Interesting Fact About Yourself: I dressed as Princess Amadala for halloween several years in a row.

Name: Michaela Gonzales

Year: 2013 (Senior!)
Position: Seeker
Concentration: Mathematics Major, Astronomy Minor
Hometown: Melrose, MA
Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff
Playing Since: Since the team started my sophomore year (except for that one semester I was in Budapest)
Favorite Quidditch Memory: Finally being considered an official team by both Smith College and the IQA after playing for half a year
Favorite Color: Yellow
Life Ambitions: To be a house cat
Why I love Quidditch: I love Quidditch because it’s a sport that doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t get bogged down in legislation.  Or, it didn’t.
Why I started playing Quidditch: It sounded like a fun way to make friends outside of my House (dorm, for non-Smithies).
Hobbies: Scottish Fiddle; International Folk Dancing — particularly English Rapper (sword) dancing and Eastern European dances
Spirit Animal: House Cat
Awkward Quidditch Moment: The moment I realized that I was the only person on the team who wanted to be a seeker, but I still absolutely despised running

Name: Gabrielle Martone
Year: 2014         
Position: Chaser, Captain, Coach, Founder, Head Pimp etc.
Major: Religion, Community Based Learning and Social Change
Hometown: Pompton Plains, NJ
Hogwarts House: Slytherin
How long have you been playing?/When did you start playing?: Oh heavens, it feels like I’ve been playing forever and a day now, but I started playing when I started the team my first year of college. We started playing because we went to UMass’ annual tournament, and the two other Smithies I was with looked at each other and said, “We need this.” We then went back to Smith and started the team!
Favorite Quidditch Memory: Oh man, I don’t know if I can pick a favorite Quidditch memory, but two of my favorites are the time that we had our first practice and people actually showed up! And the other has to be every time I watch the team play. Actually, that’s probably my favorite moment, every single time I watch this team play, it’s amazing!
When did you realize that Quidditch was your thing? Moment you realized this was it for you: Gah, I don’t even know! Probably the first time I watched UMass play, and then the first time that I actually got a chance to play. Being part of the founding board essentially meant that I don’t have one defining moment!
Favorite Color: LIME GREEN
Life Ambitions: Get ordained, move South, hang out in the Bible Belt/New Orleans for the rest of my life, write a book, write a translation of the Bible.
Why do you love Quidditch? Because I’ve watched this sport turn my friends into my family, I’ve watched people who never thought they were “good enough” to become athletes shine, I’ve seen the joy and the pride that comes with playing a phenomenal game. I love Quidditch because anyone can play, and everyone does play. I love Quidditch because of the family its bought me, the love that my players have, just everything about it.
Why did you start playing Quidditch? Because it looked awesome!        
Hobbies: Listening to Country Music, cuddling my chinchillas, reading, coloring, being weird. Spirit Animal: Honey Boo Boo
Most awkward Quidditch moment ever: I don’t have awkward Quidditch moments, others have awkward Quidditch moments BECAUSE of me.
Other interesting fact about yourself:  I’m a ninja.

Name: Gwendolyn
Year: First year
Position: Keeper/Chaser
Major: English/Medieval Studies (undeclared)
Hometown: Boston, MA
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
How long have I been playing: I played some informally in middle school, then really started playing this year.
Favorite Quidditch memory: One of our most recent practices when everything was mud and melting snow and bruises from slipping everywhere.
Favorite Color(s): Black and purple
Life Ambitions: I really want to be a published author
Why do I love Quidditch: Why does anyone love Quidditch? It’s a sport where there’s an element of pure unadulterated fun built in that takes nothing away from the competition, and is simply beautiful.
Why did I start playing Quidditch: I started playing Quidditch because of Harry Potter. When my friends first heard of Muggle Quidditch we started playing essentially pick up games that had frequent breaks to discuss the books and such. Then we began playing it for the sake of Quidditch.
Hobbies: reading, writing, story telling, making bead animals
Most awkward Quidditch moment: Probably the moment when the ref said that we’d set the field up wrong despite me having the rule book in hand the whole time and the continuous use of strides and brooms to measure the field exactly.

Name: Caroline
Year: 2016
Position: Chaser – but my true love is Snitching
Major: Economics, with a minor in Public Policy
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Hogwarts House: Slytherin
How long have you been playing?  I started playing last semester, but I’ve wanted to play for years!
Favorite Quidditch Memory: The Harvard tournament!  It was my first time playing Quidditch in a real game setting, so it was very exciting!
When did you realize that Quidditch was your thing?
  The first day of practice!
Favorite Color:
Life Ambitions:
  I’m 18 years old, so I don’t really know!  But I really want to do humanitarian work, so probably work for an NGO, and then work as a legislator.  Another life goal is to be a published writer/author/poet.
Why do you love Quidditch?
  I love Quidditch because I have a wonderful team that I get to play with.
Why did you start playing Quidditch?
  I am a nearly life-long fan of Harry Potter and Quidditch was one of the top things I was looking forward to in college.
Other Hobbies:
  Writing, running, skiing, being on the internet…
Spirit Animal:
Rachel Maddow
Most Awkward Quidditch Moment Ever:
  That time I hid in a men’s restroom as a Snitch.
Other Interesting Fact:
 I won a Harry Potter character look-alike contest dressed as Professor Trelawney.

Name: Grace
Class: 2016
Position: Chaser
Major: Bio/Environmental
Hometown: Bernardsville, NJ
Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff
When did you start playing Quidditch? This is my first year on the team.
Favorite Quidditch Memory: When my dad played at the parents weekend game
When did you realize you wanted to play Quidditch?  After the first team bonding event at Diva’s
Favorite Color: Orange
Life Ambition: Join a non-for-profit organization
Why do you like playing Quidditch?  It is active and intense but rewarding.
Other Hobbies: Soccer, ceramics
Spirit Animal: I hope it’s a frog, but I don’t know.
Most Awkward Quidditch Moment Ever: Right after we took our shirts off to play the UMass team.

Name: Laurel
Year: Sophomore
Position: Chaser
Major: Environmental Science and Policy
Hometown: Buffalo, New York
Hogwarts House: Slytherin
How long have you been playing?  I have been playing for a little over a year and a half, I started playing in the beginning of my freshman year.
What is your favorite Quidditch memory?  My favorite Quidditch memory is going to Umass’s tournament earlier this year; even though it was kind of cold out it was fantastic to see so many teams from all over come to play!
The moment you realized Quidditch was for you: The moment I realized Quidditch was something I really wanted to be a part of was the first practice we scrimmaged, the game is a lot of fun to play.
Favorite Color: Light purple
Life Ambitions: Travel abroad, have my own flower garden
Why do you love Quidditch?  I love Quidditch because people who play the game share not only a love of the sport but also a love of Harry Potter; it’s something that most of the players grew up with and it creates a really nice sense of community between players and teams right off the bat!
Why did you start playing Quidditch?  I started playing Quidditch because I wanted to try a new sport coming into college. I was looking for something fun and unique, and since I love Harry Potter I thought Quidditch would be a great choice!
Other Hobbies: Drawing and watching movies
Spirit Animal: I think a deer, but I’m not really sure
Most Awkward Quidditch Moment Ever: When I was first trying to get used to running with a broom.

Name: DiPav (Emily)
Year: 2016 (First Year!)
Position: Keeper! & Co-Captain
Major: Biology or Geology & perhaps a Landscape Studies Minor
Hometown: Newport, NH
Hogwarts house: Ravenclaw
When did you start playing?  I started play last fall. This is my first year of Quidditch and I’m loving it.
Favorite Quidditch Memory?  The giant “blue teams” hug at the UMass tournament last fall. Or, basically, most of that tournament besides the cold.
When did you realize that Quidditch was your thing? Probably at our first tournament which involved a lot of hugging and a game of ninja.
Favorite Color? Blue & Brown
Life Ambitions?  Live in the woods and have some plant pets. Or get a doctorate or something.
Why do you love Quidditch?  It’s such a fun sport! Quidditch itself just attracts great people - who else would play a sport meant for wizards and witches?
Why did you start playing Quidditch?  Christina dragged me to the first practice, and from then on it was fate.
Hobbies:  I love to backpack, canoe, and camp. Also, plants!
Spirit Animal? Donkey
Most awkward Quidditch moment ever:  Whenever Gabrielle mounts anyone, and it was especially awkward when it was me.

Name: Christina Murray
Year: First Year
Position: Beater
Major: Study of Women & Gender/ Education double major, with a concentration in Community Engagement & Social Change .(undeclared)
Hometown: Portland, Maine
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
How long have you been playing?  I started playing at the beginning of this year (2012)
Favorite Quidditch Memory: The Quidditch Fundraising carnival, when everyone suddenly got really good at butterbeer pong. 
Favorite Color: Light green
Life Ambitions: To join the Peace Corps and to be an actual published poet.
Why do you love Quidditch?  It’s the only sport I’ve ever played where I felt like the team really connected and loved the sport unconditionally.  I love it because it’s a sport that’s simply about the love of the game, not necessarily the competition.
Why did you start playing Quidditch?  I simply love Harry Potter, and the ability to take part in one of my favorite childhood (and adulthood) sports is such a heartwarming thing.
Other Hobbies: Writing poetry, watching sitcoms, knitting, interesting discussions about life.
Spirit Animal: Flamingo
Most Awkward Quidditch Moment Ever: The first time I was trapped in a Quidditch group hug (I wasn’t a hug type person before Quidditch.)
Other Interesting Fact: I hate chocolate. 

Name: Lucy Gouvin
Year: First year
Position: Beater/Chaser
Major: Economics and Studio Art
Hometown: Longmeadow, MA
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
How long have you been playing?/When did you start playing?  This is my first year!
Favorite Quidditch Memory: Going to our first tournament in Cambridge. The road trip was a lot of fun, and then we got to hang out and play with so many amazing teams! It was so great to meet so many people with similar interests.
When did you realize that Quidditch was your thing?  After the first or second practice. Everyone was so nice and friendly, we felt like a team right away.
Favorite Color: Red
Life Ambitions: Make art, travel.
Why do you love Quidditch?  The Quidditch players are my closest group of friends. When I was a new student, they made me feel welcome right away.
Why did you start playing Quidditch?  I always wanted to play, but never had the chance.
Other Hobbies: Theatre, animation, reading
Spirit Animal: Bugs Bunny
Most Awkward Quidditch Moment Ever: That time(s) I tripped over nothing…
Other Interesting Fact: I’m super good at waterskiing, but super bad at regular skiing.