Quidditch: Yes, It’s a Real Sport

Logo for INternational Quidditch AssociationQuidditch is a centuries-old wizarding sport that has seen a tremendous rise in popularity in the muggle community over the last seven years. Founded in 2006 by students at Vermont’s Middlebury College, the International Quidditch Association (IQA) has over 400 teams competing from 45 states, and many international teams. Yes, we’re talking about real people now. The sport is ever-changing, but has an official rulebook, available on the association’s website—however, the forward from creator Alex Benepe states that, “the rules no doubt have a long way to go. Real-life Quidditch is a young and rapidly growing sport. With every game, new situations arise and new playing styles are developed.”

The sport has been featured in USA Today, and on ESPN 2. It involves physical skills and combines elements from wrestling, soccer, basketball, and cross-country running. Also, broom handling. Yes, real brooms.

According to its website, “The IQA serves to promote Quidditch as a new sport and lead outreach programs to increase athletic participation among children and young adults and bring magic to communities.” And indeed, bringing the magical sport to life here in Corvallis would be a fun event for members of our community to enjoy. However, the only college in Oregon that has an active team is the University of Oregon. And frankly, it is a shame that we will not have a Quidditch Civil War this year, for that would be far more entertaining than the Civil War football game. That and I’ve been perfecting my butter beer recipe.

According to the IQA website, the Oregon State University team is listed as “currently forming,” but no information about the team on OSU’s websites, rosters, Facebook page, or anywhere else seems to exist. The only reasonable conclusion here is that the founding of a team here is not going to happen anytime soon. The last wriggle of activity amongst the phantom OSU Quidditch team’s online presence was back in 2010.

As a former Quidditch beater and a competitor in the second Quidditch World Cup in Middlebury, Vermont, I eagerly encourage all OSU students to consider becoming invested in this age-old sport, and rescue Corvallis from the culture fail of not having our own Quidditch team.

For more information about the IQA, go to their website at http://iqaquidditch.com/.
by Candy Smith