And yes, I do mean that game from Harry Potter. Did you know that there are hundreds of quidditch teams throughout the United States and around the world? I didn’t either until a friend told me that the International Quidditch Association Western Cup IV was playing in our area this weekend. Because my family just loves Harry Potter—at least my teenage daughter and I are fanatics—we decided to go watch the tournament.
Let me tell you, we had a ball. I never really paid much attention to the rules of the game while reading the books or watching the movies, so I was a little worried I’d be totally lost. But after a few minutes watching a match, I had no problem following along. And yes, the players rode brooms, or broomsticks at least. It was very exciting, like soccer meets dodgeball meets flag football. There was always something going on.
I expected to see fans all decked out in their best Hogwarts garb but it wasn’t like that at all. Many of the teams are from universities like UCLA and Berkley. This is a serious and legitimate sport, though still a lot of fun. Men and woman played with and against each other and no one was shy about tackling an opponent no matter the gender. All part of Title 9 3/4.
The snitch was my favorite part. In the books, the snitch is a small golden ball with wings, flying all over the pitch and beyond, out of reach of the seekers. In the muggle version, the snitch was a person with a tennis ball in a pouch hanging off the back of their shorts, much like a flag in flag football. In the beginning of the game, all players had to look down and close their eyes while the snitch ran off to hide. When the snitch returned to the pitch some time later and the ball was snatched from a seeker, the game ended and points added up.
My younger kids, Paul – 10 and Angela – 5, got to play a few games too. They had a great time running up and down the pitch on their brooms. The best part was watching as over half the kids chased the poor snitch all over the fields, trying to win the game.
Always competitive, Monica and I would choose sides and gloat when our team scored. My teams won 2 out of 3 times. Now Monica wants to start a quidditch club at her high school. It also wouldn’t surprise me if she chose a college based on the standing of the quidditch team.
I hope to see more quidditch games in the future. Maybe I’ll be sitting in the stands cheering on one of my kids at the World Cup one day.