International Quidditch Association Takes NYC

Last year, I wrote a Newscripts column about Quidditch for Muggles, a sport based on the “Harry Potter” series that was developed at Middlebury College, in Vermont. In a Quidditch for Muggles match, college players run around on broomsticks, trying to score points for their team by throwing a ball past a “keeper” through a series of hoops. One player, the “seeker,” is out to catch the “snitch,” an athletically gifted runner dressed in a shimmery bodysuit. Catching the snitch, which in Harry Potter’s world is an evasive golden ball with wings, ends the match. At the time I wrote the column, the sixth movie in the “Harry Potter” franchise was about to hit theaters and the land-based sport was gaining in popularity on college campuses around the country. Fast-forward to only a year and a half later. Part one of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” plays in theaters on Nov. 19, and the International Quidditch Association (IQA), a nonprofit that is in charge of the Quidditch for Muggles rulebook and tournaments, has organized the largest World Cup the sport has seen yet. Set for Nov. 13 and 14 in New York City, the tournament will feature at least 45 teams from Canada and the U.S., including McGill University, Texas Tech University, and Princeton. According to Alex Benepe, the commissioner of IQA, that’s 745 athletes descending upon the Big Apple, as of the final registration. It seems IQA has also gone quite a bit more professional, producing a viral teaser video (above) for the tournament. So if you’ll be in New York City next weekend and fancy watching some college kids play a rough-and-tumble game while running around with broomsticks and capes, stop by the World Cup site: Dewitt Clinton Fields at 52nd Street and 11th Avenue.

Author: Lauren Wolf

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  1. I have a Ph.D in chemistry, and I still think this is one of the dorkiest things ever.

    Nonetheless, my limited business acumen tells me that if this can be successful that I could probably make some money by starting a league of vampires and werewolves that engage in a bracket style tournament to see who is really more desirable to women.

  2. @Postdoc, you may be on to something there. I’m wondering, however, whether this should be marketed toward college students or high school students. Or, perhaps, the adults I know who are closeted “Twihards.”
    Interestingly, I’m told that at least some of the colleges in IQA are now advertising their quidditch team as a perk for joining the school in recruitment materials.