Quidditch: In Real Life


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UfPij5ABdo&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

In the first intercollegiate ‘muggle’ Quidditch match Middlebury College slaughtered Princeton 100-0. Take that Princeton, you can’t be good at everything.

Quidditch is a game dreamed up by super famous author J. K. Rowling, who wrote books about scarred wizard boy-hero Harry Potter. Potter excels at the sport which is played by wizards who fly in the air, on brooms.

Each team has one seeker that chases ‘the golden snitch’, an extremely elusive tiny magic ball that zips around the court on its own volition. While this is happening, a lacrosse-like game ensues played with a ball called a quaffle. Each team has three hoops. ‘Chasers’ are like forwards and try to score the quaffle through the opposing teams hoops. Keepers, goalies, guard the hoops. Beaters,uh, go around with small bats hitting the other teams players. When the snitch is caught, the game ends.

So how do college coeds without the ability to fly via broomstick play? Well they run around via broomstick. It’s extremely important to keep the broomstick between your legs at all times. Seekers, instead of chasing a flying magic yellow ball, run after a highly energetic unaffiliated kid dressed in all yellow and carrying a sock. The snitch kid gets a head start and is allowed to run around the entire campus. Simultaneously, the teams opposing chasers,beaters, and keepers collide on the field throwing the quaffle through hoops. Each score is worth ten points and the game doesn’t end until someone gets that sock (kinda like the game I play with my dog).

Middlebury College, a small liberal arts college in Vermont, has been leading the charge for quidittch to become a real sport played by real people. The International Quidditch Association, boasting over 80 members, was founded at Middlebury. “Commissioner” Alex Benepe, a student at Middlebury, states:

We’d like [for] there to be regional and national competitions in the future, one day, we hope that there could be an international competition since we’ve heard that people are playing Quidditch overseas.

According to the IQA’s website:

the IQA has helped students from more than 400 colleges and 300 high schools form teams, and over half of them are active already. The vast majority are based in the US, where Quidditch is represented in 45 states. US teams are split into five regions: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West. Other countries with teams or leagues that play by IQA rules include Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

Pretty impressive, IQA. On November 13 the first Quidditch world cup kicks off in New York City. 60 High school and college teams from across the country will collide in Manhattan’s De Witt Clinton Park to compete for the Quidditch championship. This represents a giant leap toward NCAA recognition and sponsorship. The NCAA requires 40 different school sponsored varsity teams in order to considering holding an intercollegiate championship tournament.

Some even dream of Quidditch eventually becoming an olympic sport. Unfortunately, these unnamed sources would not comment for this article because they are probably not real.

The young sport is experiencing some growing pains. Some want Quidditch to retain its lovable innocence, as acne riddled Potter fans playfully prance around on brooms. Others (presumably Princeton) demand more serious competition and regulation- equipping the sport with coaches, referees, practices, and even player cuts. If they have their way it’s just a matter of time before mandatory steroid testing.

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Cover image via IGN.com