On November 12th and 13th, Harry Potter fans flocked to Randall’s Island to celebrate the boy wizard’s favorite sport at the fifth annual Quidditch World Cup. The tournament was presented by the International Quidditch Association, which was founded in 2007 by Alex Benepe while he was a student at Middlebury College. Quidditch for Muggles, or non-magical people, was first developed at the Vermont school in 2005. In the Harry Potter series, Quidditch is a sport played by witches and wizards flying on brooms, competing to score points through hoops fixed high in the air. This is easy enough to adapt to the ground, but players are also in pursuit of the Golden Snitch. In the books, this is a winged ball that flies wherever it pleases. In Muggle Quidditch, the Snitch is a person who hides from the teams’ Seekers.
On that Saturday alone, 10,000 spectators visited the Quidditch World Cup. Additionally, there were about a thousand Quidditch players from close to 100 different teams, including one group that traveled from the University of Vaasa in Finland.
For more information, visit InternationalQuidditch.org.