You know the sport that Harry Potter and crew plays, where they fly around on broomsticks and try to get the Golden Snitch into a goal — Quidditch. Well, apparently, it’s a real thing. And you don’t have to be a wizard to play.
Obviously, the real life iteration of Quidditch is a little bit different than the sport in the Harry Potter books, but it sounds unique and exciting, and it’s grown to be intercollegiate and international. It combines elements of rugby, dodgeball, and tag, and is both coed and full-contact. The sport is played with five balls while players keep brooms between their legs at all times. Players known as chasers and keepers use the quaffle (a volleyball) to score points by throwing or dunking it through any of the opposing team’s three goal hoops. Players called beaters use three bludgers (dodgeballs) to briefly knock opposing players out of the game. Each team’s seeker chases the fifth ball, which is attached to a human snitch runner, in order to end the game and earn additional points.
You can see it all in action this weekend. The International Quidditch Association will host its MidAtlantic Regional Championship in Leesburg on Saturday and Sunday, November 23-24. Students and young adults from Pennsylvania to North Carolina will converge at Loudoun Soccer Park for one of the sport’s marquee events.
The entire event free to attend, and families are encouraged to go. In addition to top-tier quidditch competition, the weekend will include special “kidditch” sessions, quidditch games with modified rules for kids, open to any children wishing to play. There will also be great food, exclusive merchandise, and quite a few friendly Harry Potter fans.
The event will run 8am – 8pm both days. Loudon Soccer Park, where it will take place, is located at 19798 Sycolin Road. Admission is free.