Brooms up: Quidditch in Northern California

For the past twelve years, the sport imagined by J.K. Rowling -- quidditch -- has been evolving and is now a global phenomenon in the Muggle world.

Running around with a PVC pipe between your legs, getting hit in the face short-range by a dodgeball or chasing a person with a tennis ball in a sock hanging out of the back of their yellow shorts: just another day in the life of a quidditch player.

In 2005, members of Middlebury College in Vermont decided to bring J.K. Rowling’s fictional sport from the Harry Potter books to life with their own “muggle version” of quidditch. For the past twelve years, the sport has been evolving and is now a global phenomenon.

There are ten official teams registered to the Northern California Quidditch Conference (NCQC). Although teams spend most of the calendar year competing in matches in the hopes of earning a spot in the U.S. Quidditch Cup in the spring, the quidditch community makes an effort to hold events that allow teams to interact with each other and form friendships across different teams.

On March 11, the Stanford Quidditch team hosted a Fantasy Tournament called “Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them.” Individuals from various western teams registered and were selected “fantasy-style” to form five mixed teams.

Stanford Quidditch President Lucien Weiss expressed his excitement for events like these: “It’s a good chance to meet people on other teams and hang out with your friends, and it’s almost like a day celebrating quidditch.”

Weiss said the quidditch community is one of his favorite parts about the game. “It’s impossible to quit because you’d miss out on meeting so many cool people that you just haven’t met yet.”

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