The premier of the last segment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows marked the end of childhood for many Millenials and the end of an era in the Wizarding World. Some, however, aren’t ready to let go.
In the Wizarding World, the Quidditch World Cup is the equivalent of the NFL Superbowl. The game has two 7-player teams on brooms: three chasers, two beaters, one keeper, one seeker, and four balls: two Bludgers, one Quaffle and one Golden Snitch. The beaters defend the team by throwing the Bludgers towards opposing team members. Chasers try to score by throwing the Quaffle into one of the opposing team’s three posts before the keeper blocks it. Meanwhile, the seeker must chase the fast, tricky, golden snitch before the other team’s seeker. Once the golden snitch is caught, the game ends.
For those of us who weren’t lucky enough to get an acceptance letter from the Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry, there is a Muggle (human) form of Quidditch, sans gravity-defying brooms. In 2005, two students at Middlebury College imagined a way for the popular wizarding game to become real-life. The game adaptation follows many of the the same concepts as the original but with a few twists. Even though flying brooms don’t exist in the Muggle world, the players each cradle a broom between their legs throughout the entire game. Instead of a small, flying golden ball, the Golden Snitch is an athlete dressed in gold with a tennis ball attached to his shorts. The seeker on each team must try to snag the tennis ball before the opposing seeker. Like the original Golden Snitch, the athlete is not bound by any rules and must be able to outrun the seekers.
The first intercollegiate World Cup took place a mere 5 years ago between Middlebury and Vassar college. Since then, Quidditch has been, as TIME magazine so eloquently put it, ‘a sport striving for legitimacy.’ It boasts an official rule book, an administrative association called the International Quidditch Association, live-streaming webcasts, and 100 teams from the US, Canada, and at least two other countries. The sport is unique in that it not only requires an athletic build and skill set, but also a lot of creativity. The chasers must be able to throw like quarterbacks, while seekers must be able to run fast enough to catch the snitch. Fans and players who attend each year’s World Cup need to forget the silliness in running around on a broom, and use their imaginations to really enjoy the game. The winner of the entire competition holds the honorable title of the Quidditch World Cup Champion.
Even though the last movie of the Harry Potter saga premiered today, the Quidditch World Cup reminds us that the magical journey does not have to end. This year, the World Cup will take place on Randall’s Island in NYC and will come complete with a not-yet-announced headline artist, musical and circus entertainers and live animals. This event is definitely one worth seeing.
See the highlights from last year’s Cup below:
[via The New Yorker]