Twenty-eight athletes from across the country will be dusting off their broomsticks to represent Canada as they host this year’s International Quidditch Association (IQA) Global Games, the international championship of a sport taken straight from the pages of Harry Potter.
IQA’s style of quidditch differs from its fictional counterpart in a few obvious ways. While brooms are still used, the Global Games will be played on the ground, which may make the sport less of a spectacle, but ultimately more athletic. The snitch, a flying golden ball that must be caught in order to finish the match, is also replaced by a “runner,” a neutral player. The runner is often clothed in golden spandex, and dodges players as they try to grab a tennis ball dangling from his waist. Despite not involving magic, this replacement actually makes the game more entertaining.
The Global Games are set to take place in Burnaby, BC on July 16. Eight national teams, including the U.S., Mexico, Australia, the U.K., France, Belgium, and Italy are set to compete. Registration is still open, and the games will be livestreamed.
Meanwhile, Team Canada has taken to online crowdfunder Indiegogo to raise money for the trip to Burnaby, as 17 of the 28 players are based in Ontario, and many are students. The team also recently unveiled their new logo (pictured above). The fringe sport has become surprisingly popular, especially in Canada — last year’s Canada Cup in Toronto drew 15 teams, mostly unofficial university teams, though few outside of Ontario and Quebec were able to participate.
“[The Global Games] would be an amazing opportunity to show the world that Canada is a force to be reckoned with in the quidditch world, and I’d love to be a part of the team to do so,” says Arlene Rosenberg, a beater (that’s a position), on the Indiegogo site.
Hosted at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex West, the games, will be open to the public and free. Golden spandex not required.