Harry Potter's Quidditch invades the heartland

October 21, 2010

Rival houses in the Purdue Intercollegiate Quidditch Association compete in the earthbound version of the magical, rugby-like game originally created by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is hosting an intercollegiate Quidditch tournament from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 24), just days before the world debut of the final Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

The Hogwarts-looking Windsor Halls will serve as the backdrop as caped contestants chase gold-clad human snitches and launch balls through custom-made hoops, all while dashing around on broomsticks trying not to be leveled by bludger-bearing beaters.

Several colleges will send players, including Purdue, Ohio State, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois State, Ball State, Bowling Green State University, Carthage College, Miami of Ohio and Transylvania University. Purdue's invitational tournament is scheduled for the same week as the DVD and Blu-ray release of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" Ultimate Edition, the movie in which Harry and Ron Weasley attend the Quidditch World Cup.

Purdue Quidditch team co-captain Peter Chen says that Quidditch is a perfect way to "get stoked" for the Potter movies and a game that many players have yearned to play since they first read about it as young children.

"Kids have always dreamed of flying, but ours was the first generation to believe under the right circumstances it just might be possible," Chen said. "The magic of Harry Potter has fired our imaginations to this day, even as we pursue degrees in fields ranging from aeronautical engineering to British literature."

Chen said the rugby-like sport is commonly embraced by "nerdy" Harry Potter fans but appeals to many "jocks" as well because of the physicality of the sport.

"This is a fast-paced game that requires imagination, cooperation, strategy and endurance," Chen said.

Each team is part of the International Quidditch Association, the world’s first nonprofit organization to promote the earthbound version of the sport invented by J.K. Rowling in her Harry Potter novels. Founded at Middlebury College, Quidditch is now played at more than 150 colleges and 100 high schools. The association's mission includes improving youth athletic participation, community interaction and literacy education.

The public is invited to attend the event at Vawter Field at the intersection of Third Street and Jischke Drive.  

Writer: Jim Schenke, 765-237-7296, jschenke@purdue.edu

Source: Peter Chen, 765-490-7059, chen114@purdue.edu

Related Web sites:
Purdue Intercollegiate Quidditch Association

Intercollegiate Quidditch Association