Quidditch World Cup 2010
Harry Potter fever is sweeping the land once again, as the first part of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" premieres this Friday in the U.S., but even better than a movie opening, the Quidditch World Cup IV took place this weekend at Manhattan's Dewitt Clinton Park. Hosted by the IQA (the International Quidditch Association, of course!), the championship games had 46 teams competing from colleges all over the country.
Middlebury defended their title against first-time competitors Tufts in a fierce battle, that ended when Tufts fell on their sword to catch the Snitch ending the game but without making up the points they needed to win...just like in the World Cup described in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." The final score was 100-50, and Middlebury held on to the World Championship title. (See full list of teams here)
What's Quidditch, you ask? Quidditch is a magical game played on brooms in which two teams face off to score goals using the "quaffle," defense is played by "beaters" using another set of balls called "bludgers" and the duration of the game is dictated by the "seekers" who search for the "Golden Snitch." In the books, the game is played aloft, the balls fly and the Golden Snitch is a tiny, sneaky, winged orb that is impossibly fast and difficult to catch. In real life Quidditch, the brooms stay on the ground, the balls are thrown one-handed and the Golden Snitch is an actual person who is chased all over the grounds. Lest you think this is a game for sissies, please be aware Quidditch is not for the faint of heart; it is a full-contact and violent sport, combining elements of rugby, hockey, wrestling and soccer. We saw at least two players taken off on stretchers and to ambulances. Everyone was OK, but it's better to be safe than seriously injured! --Gabi Porter