Bring Your Own Broom: The Ascension of Muggle Quidditch | By Andrew Broad

At post secondary institutions across North America, there’s a new phenomenon that’s spreading like wildfire. No, I’m not talking about syphilis (that’s just an Alberta-wide thing). I’m talking about quidditch.

For those of you who had terrible childhoods, or are simply illiterate, quidditch is a fictional game played on magic broomsticks that was invented by J. K. Rowling in her best-selling series, Harry Potter. However, in 2005, a group of guys at Middlebury College in Vermont adapted the sport, so that it could be played by us muggles. If you’re interested in knowing how they have adapted it, I suggest you watch this documentary to learn more about the rules.

Over the last few years, quidditch has exploded onto the North American university scene. In the eastern United States, and eastern Canada, this co-ed contact sport has quickly gained momentum, and is just as respected as other university sports such as dodgeball, or even ultimate frisbee. That momentum is largely due to the efforts of the International Quidditch Association (seriously, I’m not joking) to legitimize the sport, and to encourage interuniversity matches. They establish the official rules of quidditch, keep track of world rankings, and organize regional, national, and international tournaments. The major annual tournament hosted by the IQA is the Quidditch World Cup, which was first held in 2007 in Vermont between just two teams. Most recently, the fifth world cup was held in November 2011 in New York City with 100 teams participating. As Time Magazine put it, “for a [seven]-year-old sport, it’s a remarkable ascension”

However, it’s taken us a while to catch wind of this new team sport here at the University of Alberta, so it was only last year that a quidditch club was started on campus by myself, and club co-president, Dana Boos. Right now, you’re probably asking yourself, “does this guy hang out in the Titan Lounge in HUB between classes?” but instead of dismissing us as nerds (because we’ve come to find the term endearing), I challenge you to come try it out, and see for yourself what you think of it. If you love it, that’s awesome. We love to see the smiles on peoples’ faces after they’ve done something as child-like as running around with a broom between their legs for an hour. However, If you don’t like it, that’s fine too; but don’t forget to bring a camera, so people will actually believe you when you tell them that you were playing quidditch.

Feel free to contact us through our Facebook page (University of Alberta Quidditch Club) or on Twitter (@UA_Quidditch). 

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