Quidditch World Cup Begins in Kissimmee Today!

Filed under: Kissimmee Event,Orlando Sport |

Yesterday we talked about some of the events happening in Central Florida this weekend but we deliberately left out one of the more unusual as it deserves it’s own post! We’re talking about the Quidditch World Cup that begins at Austin Tindall Park in Kissimmee today!

Quidditch was adapted from the Harry Potter novels in 2005, at Middlebury College in Vermont, by Xander Manshel, a freshman looking to change up his dorm’s tradition of Sunday bocce. That first group wore towels for capes and came with an assortment of broom-like implements, including a Swiffer mop and even a lamp. One kid wore his graduation robes. The game was an immediate hit on campus and was played on an intramural level until 2007, when Alex Benepe founded the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association after the first intercollegiate match between Middlebury and Vassar College. Since then the sport has really taken off (figuratively if not literally): students from more than 1,000 colleges and high schools from a dozen countries have contacted the IQA looking to start their own teams, and over 300 are actively playing around the world.

In 2005, the first “Quidditch World Cup” featured ten intramural teams at Middlebury. By 2010, 46 college and high school teams – from such diverse institutions as Harvard, Texas A&M, Michigan State, NYU, and Chestnut Hill College – competed in New York City on four fields with over 15,000 spectators. In 2011, the number grew to 96 teams. By the beginning of the 2012 season, the IQA had over 175 dues-paying official member teams from 45 US States and five other countries. After five successful World Cups, there were too many official teams for World Cup to be a first-come, first-serve event any longer. The IQA hosted regional championships as World Cup qualifying events for the first time ever and now 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.

Quidditch is a co-ed, full-contact sport that is often described as a combination of rugby, dodgeball, hide-and-seek, and tag . With four balls, fourteen players, and one snitch, it can be hard to keep track of things on the elliptical pitch. Below you’ll find the rules of quidditch explained in simplified form. Once you have this down, you can get into the nitty-gritty by checking out the full rulebook.

A quidditch team is made up of seven players: 3 chasers, 1 keeper, 2 beaters, and 1 seeker. Each player must keep a broom between his or her legs at all times while in play.

The chasers run with the quaffle (a slightly deflated volleyball) and attempt to score by putting it through either the front or the back of any of the three hoops at the other end of the pitch. Each goal is worth 10 points.

The keeper is essentially a “goalie,” who may also travel farther out from his or her hoops to act as an additional chaser.

The beaters throw bludgers (the three rubber kickballs) at opposing players of any position. When an opposing player is hit, he or she must dismount the broom and is removed from play until he or she runs back and touches his or her hoops. Then that player may rejoin the game.

The seeker searches for the snitch, an impartial fifteenth player typically clad in yellow, who begins the game by running away from the pitch to hide while all seven players on each team close their eyes. The snitch’s goal is to avoid being captured by either team’s seeker. Seekers must grab the tennis ball in the sock hanging from the back of the snitch’s pants to “snatch” the snitch. A game of quidditch ends when the snitch is caught, and the capturing seeker’s team is awarded an extra 30 points.




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