Forget about the costumes at Comic Con — we’ve found the most embarrassing form of expression for geeks everywhere: the Quidditch World Cup. Yes, it’s real, and it is suuuper weird.
Sorry, Potter fans, but there is no magic. At least, there is no invisible force that will allow you to fly on broomsticks as the players of the popular sport do in the Harry Potter books. Quidditch is as popular as football is in the United States for the fictional wizards and witches of the famous fantasy series, and we have to admit that the way author J.K. Rowling wrote the game, it is a very interesting idea for a sport.
Leave it to Florida to take the idea and make it a reality, creating a full-contact, co-ed competition that has been adapted from the high-flying action of the books to the ground in the real world. Yes, the players are grounded, but that doesn’t stop them from holding brooms between their legs and chucking around the good ol’ quaffle (the ball thrown through the hoops in the book to score points).
According to the World Cup Quidditch website, “Quidditch is a co-ed, full-contact sport that combines elements of rugby, dodgeball, and Olympic handball, with four balls and seven players per team vying for control of an elliptical pitch. Eighty of the best teams in the world, hailing from across the US and as far away as Australia, France, Canada, the UK, and Mexico, will compete for the championship title.”
The balls typically used in the fictional game are one quaffle, two bludgers (enchanted balls that fly around and try to knock players off their broomsticks), and one golden snitch (the tiny enchanted metal sphere that uses wings to fly around the arena. If the snitch is caught by a seeker — Harry Potter’s role in the sport — the game is automatically won). In the earthly league, the snitch is played by a human, and we’re guessing he better be pretty fast on his feet!
As we read more about it, it actually sounds like a pretty intense game that requires real skill and athleticism. According to Time, “Quidditch players move with the grace and ferocity of top athletes; the best of them look like lacrosse players and hit like linebackers.”
This year’s Cup was held in Kissimmee, Florida, but for 2014, WLTX reports that Myrtle Beach has been selected for the fiction-inspired competition that will be held on April 5 and 6.