While men’s soccer is advancing in the Sweet 16 and the cross country teams are on their way to Iowa for nationals, Middlebury’s top team has already been crowned international champions. I’m talking, of course, about Quidditch.
For most muggles (that is, non-magical folk), Quidditch is merely a fictional game from the Harry Potter books and movies, a creation of JK Rowling’s imagination and nothing more. But for one fall weekend, forty-six high school and collegiate teams from across the country and Canada made magic come to life. The International Quidditch Association was born at Middlebury College in 2005, when a group of friends set down real-life rules to a most unreal sport. Since then, there have been four International Quidditch World Cups, with the Middlebury squad reigning supreme in each and every one.
It’s been my honor to be a part of two of those championship teams, and our victory at last weekend’s World Cup at DeWitt Clinton Park in New York City was the most sweet. For most of the sport’s history, the competition has been relatively easy to overcome. Other schools put together ragtag bands of students who were more interested in Harry Potter than in the athletic competition, while Middlebury actively recruited the best high school Quidditch players in the country (just kidding…or am I?). In New York, however, the sport totally came into its own. New and improved teams from D1 sports powerhouses like Texas A&M, University of Minnesota, and Louisiana State were scary opponents — not because of any dark magic, but because of their sheer size and athleticism. Smaller schools with a long history of Quidditch prowess like Emerson, Tufts, and Vassar were able to bring bigger squads since the Cup was in New York instead of far away Middlebury.
But, at the end of the weekend, we kept our title as champs, extending our dynasty for another year. Maybe next year, you’ll be in the huddle with us!