Harry Potter inspired Quadball National tournament flies into Oshawa

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Published March 6, 2024 at 3:36 pm

A Quadball game via US Quadball.

The Harry Potter-inspired sport Quadball (formerly known as Quidditch) is flying into Oshawa for its national championships this month.

Real-life Quidditch was developed at Middlebury College in Vermont in 2005, with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books and their film adaptations cited as a most significant influence.

That year saw the release of the sixth and penultimate book in the series, The Half-Blood Prince, and the fourth film, The Goblet of Fire. 

Quadball quickly grew in popularity and the International Quadball Association was formed to govern the sport. In 2007 the IQA hosted its first World Cup.

In Canada, the sport began to take off on university campuses, first in McGill and Carleton. Late actor Matthew Perry helped fund the first official college Quadball pitch at UCLA

The full-contact sport sees two teams of seven players face off on a rectangular pitch. The object is to pass one of four balls, the “Quaffle” (a slightly deflated volleyball) through one of the other team’s three hoops at the end of the pitch.

Meanwhile, each team has two “beaters” who attempt to hit other players with “bludgers” (dodgeballs). All players run across the field astride a broomstick, except the “keepers” who, like a goalie, defends the hoops.

At a certain time in the game, 17 minutes in IQA games, the “snitch” (a tennis ball) is released on the field. Shortly after, the seventh player “Seekers” enters the fray to catch it.

The game ends when one of the seekers catches the snitch, with the win is granted to the team with the most points. Each quaffle through a hoop awards 10 points; the seeker catch awards 30.

Over the years the game has spread around the world to at least 16 other countries including; Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, China, Uganda, the Philippines, New Zealand and Vietnam.

Since the sport’s inception, the Quadball community has been a mixed-gender sport. The official organizers have long striven for equal representation in the sport and to provide a supportive environment for transgender and non-binary athletes.

As a result, the community moved away from direct connections to Harry Potter following Rowling’s comments on transgender people which many consider transphobic. They were also additional concerns about a possible lawsuit from Warner Bros. over use of the word Quiddich.

To address these concerns, the sport was officially renamed to Quadball in 2022. Around that time, the Canadian IQA branch had suspended activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Oshawa hosted the eastern regional championships in 2018 and 2019, events were scuttled in 2020 and 2021. Quadball returned to the city in 2022.

“Oshawa’s high caliber facilities, incredible event support staff, and commitment to a quality player experience, make them the ideal hosts for our 2024 National Championship, which will be the first National Championship under the name ‘Quadball Canada.'”

The championships will be held at the Oshawa Civic Fieldhouse on March 16 and 17 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Attendance is free.

 

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