Quidditch: Once a fantasy, now a reality
Now, eight years later, the fictional game once only played by characters in the popular "Harry Potter" books is played at more than 1,000 college campuses on three continents.
Manshel scribbled down a makeshift rulebook based in part on the books and elements of lacrosse, rugby and dodge ball. Intramural matches began at Middlebury in 2007.
Benepe founded the International Quidditch Association three years later, and the game is now played in North America, Europe and Australia.
IQA and Kissimmee, Florida will host 80 teams and more than 1,600 players for its annual World Cup event. The first three were at Middlebury, and the past two were held in New York.
Says Benepe, “Garbage cans once served as hoops, with some players fashioning capes out of towels taped to their shirts.”
"One guy wore his high school graduation robe. Another kid thought you had to bring your own broom, and he couldn't find one. So he grabbed a lamp from his dormitory and was running around on a lamp. It was real thrown together," Benepe said.
Now players spend anywhere from a few hundred bucks for basic equipment to several hundred for the top-of-the-line stuff at the World Cup.
Also, the majority of teams competing at this level have official uniforms names paying homage to the book series, like the Silicon Valley Skrewts and the Melbourne Manticores.
Spectators will find many of the same features from the books. Players throw balls or "quaffles" through ringed hoops for points and even can chase and capture the "snitch" to end matches.
And in case any Harry Potter diehards are wondering, yes, all the players also must maneuver around on broomsticks during gameplay. However, real-life quidditch players have yet to take flight.
Critical thinking challenge: Which parts of IQA Quidditch are exactly as described in “Harry Potter,” and which parts are not faithful to the book, and why?
- Posted on April 14, 2013