Harry Potter-inspired sport Quidditch lands on Strand

10best-iqa1Brush off your broomstick and bone up on your Harry Potter. The once fictional sport of Quidditch, made famous by author J.K. Rowling’s popular book series, is not only very real; it’s also in our own backyard.

The 2014 Quidditch World Cup VII will be held all day Saturday at the new North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex. More than 80 college teams from all over the US and Canada will invade the Grand Strand area to duel in the game of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry fame.

For those unfamiliar with the Harry Potter series, or for those unaware that the sport has been adopted by fans of the series who are now of college age, Quidditch is a team sport that involves players on flying broomsticks chasing Quaffles, Bludgers and the Golden Snitch.

But in Muggle Quidditch, players are required to carry a broom between their legs at all times. Volleyballs are used as Quaffles, dodgeballs serve as Bludgers and the Golden Snitch is a tennis ball stuffed in a sock that is tucked in the waistband of the Snitch runner.

The Snitch runner is a neutral player who is allowed to roam an area beyond the playing field.
Each team features seven players on the field at a time: three chasers, two beaters, a keeper and a seeker. The game is played on a field the size of a hockey rink with three circular goals placed on either side of the field. The object is to score goals and catch the elusive Snitch.

The appeal of the sport is spreading throughout the world. In fact, this is the seventh annual IQA World Cup and the number of participating teams increase each year. The tournament will attract 1,500 competitors and a number of spectators curious to see how the sport plays out on a real field.

This year the IQA (International Quidditch Association) selected North Myrtle Beach over Kissimee, FL, to host the big event. The IQA cited the brand-new North Myrtle Beach Parks and Sports Complex’s excellent facilities and location for selecting the first-time location.

Photo courtesy of IQA

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