Similar to the game played by wizards on broomsticks in the Harry Potter novels written by J.K. Rowling, Quidditch has now become a popular sport on many college campuses.
The game combines Ultimate Frisbee and dodge ball to re-enact the original game. The rules are about the same, except instead of flying, players run around on the ground. The Snitch is not a winged golden ball, but a student who races around the field, or even a flying helicopter at some campuses.
Students at VSU attempted to start up a Quidditch team of their own; however, they weren’t able to due to lack of finances and members.
“Not that many people came out to our first meeting,” Noah Adler, main organizer of the team, said. “Working out all of the financial issues was also kind of tricky. Everything has to be finalized through Student Organizations and there also had to be someone certified in CPR to attend our practices. We just couldn’t get it fully off the ground.”
Nonetheless, the game of Quidditch has become so popular on other college campuses that there is an Intercollegiate Quidditch Association (IQA), which holds tournaments every year between numerous schools that are active in the sport.
The University of Georgia, in fact, has a Quidditch league, which was created in 2007. The idea of bringing the game to their campus spread by word of mouth, eventually assembling enough students to make the same four teams described in the Harry Potter books, which are Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Hufflepuff.
On Nov. 13-14, the IQA held their fourth annual World Cup in New York City at the DeWitt Clinton Park. Forty-six official Quidditch teams from around the world, totaling to 757 athletes, competed for the chance to win the world championship title.
The Quidditch tournament lasted two days and was free and open to the public.
The teams were chosen from 42 colleges and universities, three high schools and one local community team, which were all from the USA and Canada.
Apart from the World Cup, the IQA also have other tournaments throughout the year, including the Quidditch Swamp Cup in Gainesville, Fla. and the Utah Snow Cup.
“Muggle Quidditch” was first launched in 2005 as a club at Middlebury College in Vermont. Alexander Manshel, the first Quidditch Commissioner, modified the rules from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, so the game could be easily played on the ground.
In 2006, Alex Benepe was handed over the position of Quidditch Commissioner and from there, founded the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association in 2007.
From that time on, the association has helped hundreds of schools all over the world join in on the game. Most of the schools apart of the Quidditch frenzy are in the U.S., where the game is played in 45 states. Other countries with teams associated with the IQA include Mexico, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, South Korea and Australia.
According to their website, the IQA is “a magical non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the game of Quidditch and utilizing the game to inspire young people to lead more physically active and socially engaged lives.”�
However, they mention on their website that they are not at all connected with either Warner Brothers or JK Rowling.
The IQA’s Board of Directors consists solely of college students or recent college graduates.
“We aren’t the most business-savvy group, but what we lack in experience we make up for in enthusiasm and creativity,” their website said.
The game has become popular with college students, since they are the generation that grew up with the Harry Potter books.
“We were all Harry Potter’s age when the books started,” said Sam Libby, 20, a Middlebury College junior geography major from Richmond, Vt. “And Quidditch is one of the most creative things that came out of the books. We were able to create that here, follow all the rules, except the ability to fly. It just caught on.”