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While this week it's all about the newly released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, last week, Potter fans were focused on the muggle version of the Quidditch World Cup - Except, this one was not a figment of Rowling's imagination, but an actual championship played on solid ground in New York City.
Forty-six teams from all across the country descended to the Big Apple to compete in the fourth annual Quidditch World Cup, a two-day tournament, which could only be described as mayhem. Try as they did, they were unable to usurp the three-year reigning champions - Middlebury College, the place where it all began.
Not wanting to be left out, West coast arch rivals (think Gryffindor vs. Slytherin) Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley, hosted their own mini-version - Who won that epic match? Watch the video below to find out.
Started in 2005 by two history majors, Alex Benepe and Xander Manshel, Muggle Quidditch noticeably lacks the 'magical' touches of wizarding Quidditch (such as broomsticks that actually fly and Bludgers that ricochet around the pitch on their own accord). However, the human version is just as exciting, combining elements of soccer, basketball, flag football, cross country running, dodge ball and even gymnastics.
Each team comprises of up to 20 players, of which only 7 (3 Chasers, 2 Beaters, I Keeper and I Seeker) are on the field at any given time. Even though Muggles cannot fly, brooms have to be tucked in between the legs at all times - Any play without one in position, is rendered void.
A slightly deflated volleyball serves as the Quaffle while red dodge balls serve as Bludgers. As for the Snitch - represented by a tennis ball, it is stuffed inside a long soccer sock that is attached like a tail to the back of a student wearing various shades of yellow and gold. The Snitch carrier spends most of the game in hiding and when pursued by the Seeker, is allowed to run off the playing field as long as he/she remains within predetermined boundaries. As in wizarding Quidditch, if the Seeker succeeds in pulling off the tail, and grabbing the 'snitch', it is game over!
Muggle Quidditch is now a legitimate sport in over 400 colleges that include the likes of Harvard, Stanford and Yale, as well as, universities abroad, all the way from Perth in Australia, to Peru in South America. Over 300 high schools all over the United States also boast a Quidditch team. In fact it is becoming so popular that the organizers are considering registering with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, to turn it into a legit sport just like basketball and football.
If this article has got you itching to hop onto your Nimbus 2000's, Cleansweep Sevens or Firebolts and play some good old fashioned Quidditch, be sure to check out www.internationalquidditch.org and see if there is a team in your neighborhood or better still, find out how to start one in your school.