Wingardium Nerdiosa … The Quidditch World Cup Is This Weekend, and U. of Miami Is A Favorite

  • Rick Chandler

… as if you didn’t know.

Your closet Harry Potter fandom is no secret here, which is why we’re sure you’ll be traveling to Kissimmee, FL, on Saturday for the Quidditch World Cup. That’s where 56 teams from four nations (notably, none of them England) will square off for the Quidditch Cup, or whatever they call it. Get ready for fierce action between college kids tossing a tetherball while running with broomsticks between their legs … just like in the movie.

It may surprise you to know that many U.S. universities have quidditch teams … I’ve seen them playing while driving by the Stanford campus, for instance. Money well spent, parents! The terrestrial version is thought to have first been adapted by Middlebury College in Vermont, in 2005, where “That first group wore towels for capes and came with an assortment of broom-like implements, including a Swiffer mop and even a lamp.” The first intercollegiate match came that year between Middlebury and Vassar. Now the college and high school landscape is infested sprinkled with more than 200 organized teams, in who-knows-how-many leagues.

I’m not going to go over all the rules, but here’s an excerpt from the 2013 Quidditch World Cup site:

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 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.

Then, this happened:

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.

Tell me how the hell this is different than Calvinball?

1.2 Any player may declare a new rule at any point in the game. The player may do this audibly or silently depending on what zone (Refer to Rule 1.5) the player is in.

1.3. A player may use the Calvinball (See Calvinball Equipment – 2.2) in any way the player see fits, whether it be to incur injury upon other players or to gain benefits for himself.

1.7 Songs are an integral part of Calvinball and verses must be sung spontaneously through the game when randomly assigned events occur.

Texas A&M is the top-ranked quidditch team in the nation, according to, and the University of Miami is also considered a favorite on Saturday.

Oh, and don’t forget the entertainment. Put your hands together for Harry and the Potters!

This is real, folks: guard your bludgers, and your tennis ball sock. When it comes to snatching another person’s snitch, no means no. Professor Flick is all hands. We’ll keep you posted.