Real-life quidditch originated in 2005 in Middlebury, Vermont, 18 years after its depiction in the J.K Rowling novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 2005 Middlebury College students, Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe may not be wizards but they did commission the sport of quidditch and eventually spellbound thousands of participants worldwide to the point where the activity is now recognized as a major league sport with coastal divisions and groups such as the Boston Forge Quidditch team and an International Quidditch Association.
After the publishing of 10 distinct and revised rulebooks for the fictional turned real-life sport, today’s quidditch pays a striking resemblance to those depicted in the books and illustrated in the Harry Potter films. The only obvious difference is that we haven’t quite found the knack for flying broomsticks.
Playing on the names of equipment from the Harry Potter empire, the equipment is pretty much all the same albeit a little less mystical:
- Quaffle (volleyball)
- Bludgers (dodgeballs)
- Golden snitch (tennis ball)
- Quidditch pitch arena (field)
Although inspired by the fictional sport of quidditch, the name of the sport recently changed to “quadball” to distance itself from the trademark rights of Warner Bros. In the U.S there is a North and South Division in addition to the East Division, boasting 16 domestic teams in total.
The Major League Quadball East division includes:
- Boston Forge
- Charlotte Aviators
- New York Titans
- Ottawa Black Bears
- Washington Admirals
Boston Forge, Boston’s only Major League Quadball team, has been practicing since 2015 at Harvard University stadium (home of Boston Calling) with head coach, Tom DeMouth. Exact tryout dates are still to be announced but generally occur in late March. The Boston Foge will go on to compete against all of the East division teams with the MLQ Championship taking place August 26 to 28 in Des Moines, Iowa!
The game involves running around on a broomstick while dodging bludgers and shooting quaffles while trying to catch the snitch. In non-wizarding terms this essentially breaks down competitively riding a broomstick while playing dodgeball, catch, and basketball all at once. It’s an insane workout!
Positions needed for each team include beaters, keepers, and chasers. Anyone age 18 and above regardless of athletic ability can try out for Quadball! May the best team win!