At one point or another all of us have wished to be a member of the Harry Potter world. While that fantasy isn’t real, the game of Quidditch is, and you can participate.
In 2010, company US Quidditch took the sport from the silver screen reality. (For a timeline of the sport’s progress, click here.)
The founder, Alex Benepe, along with others, combined a passion for getting young people active with a love of the Harry Potter novels, and created the nonprofit.
In the five years since, there have been eight World Cups, and they “serve over 4,000 athletes” on hundreds of teams nationwide.
Though the nonprofit may sound like a joke, to the people that run the company, it is no laughing matter. The sport is a surprisingly serious, as well as a rigorous, co-ed contact sport.
While the players may not be flying through the air on brooms, there is a remarkable resemblance to the fictional depictions. There are chasers, who play with volleyballs as quaffles; a keeper who defends the goal hoops; two beaters use “bludgers”, aka dodgeballs, and lastly, each team also has a seeker who tries to catch the snitch, a ball attached to the waistband of the snitch runner, “a neutral athlete in a yellow uniform who uses any means to avoid capture.”
The 2015 Quidditch World Cup took place on April 11 and 12 at the Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Eighty teams qualified through regional to compete in what was arguably the most unique sporting event, and the most intense Quidditch, of the year.
At the end of the two-day competition, the Texas Longhorns emerged victorious. This was the University of Texas at Austin’s third straight win. This year, they defeated their opponent 120-90.
The Texas Quidditch champions first founded their sport club in 2005, and invite fellow students to join via their website.
“So if you love Harry Potter, if you love yelling like a banshee, if you love the smell of turf stains along the edge of your flowing cape and the sting of bludgers on your face, then, for the love of Dumbledore and all that is magical, come to our meetings and play for the Honor and Glory that is burnt orange and white.”
If JK Rowling were here to see this, she would certainly be proud.