IF YOU'RE a Harry Potter fan and one of 1600 students attending the University of the Sunshine Coast's orientation this week you're in for a treat.

Fans will be given the chance to take part in fun matches of Quidditch - the fanciful, high-flying sport made famous by J.K. Rowling's popular books.

While brooms remain compulsory equipment, and chants and spells from players and spectators are welcome, USC's wizards and witches will be required to remain more "grounded" than their fictional counterparts.

"We haven't yet found a way to make the brooms fly, so we're making do with what we've got," USC Quidditch League president Alise Thomas said.

"We run around with broomsticks between our legs and use our free hand to throw soft spiky rubber balls and volleyballs. If you happen to drop your broom, it's the equivalent to falling off - just a little less painful.

WIZARDS WIND UP: Uni students Chloe Grabs and Abbey Crook practise for the Quidditch battle.
WIZARDS WIND UP: Uni students Chloe Grabs and Abbey Crook practise for the Quidditch battle. Warren Lynam

"The 'Snitch' is also different. Instead of a magical golden ball flying around, we have a tennis ball attached to a Snitch runner who runs away, hides, and plays tricks on the Seekers so it doesn't get caught.

"The rest of the rules are pretty much the same as at Hogwarts."

Quidditch matches will be held from 2-3pm today - the biggest day of O Week, called the New Semester Fiesta - and from 6-7pm under lights on Thursday.

The New Semester Fiesta is open to all first-year students at USC and will include Amazing Race-style contests at 11am, noon and 1pm, and a carnival from 5-7pm featuring the Carl Wockner Band and free food and drink.

For those not so keen on Harry Potter, students can also take part in frisbee and futsal games tomorrow afternoon and enjoy live music from 3-5pm and an Aussie outback trivia event from 6-8pm.

USC's Student Guild will stage another fun carnival on Thursday with inflatable fun activities, free food and chai tea, followed by live music from 4-8pm.

This carnival will also include the night Quidditch matches.

For more about the New Semester Fiesta visit http://www.usc.edu.au.



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