Believe it or not this is an actual sport. No, really.
Major League Quidditch (MLQ) is a professional quidditch league based in the United States and Canada. The 16 teams play from June to August with each team playing nine games. The current list of teams are:
East Division: Boston Night Riders, New York Titans, Ottawa Black Bears, Washington Admirals
North Division: Cleveland Riff, Detroit Innovators, Indianapolis Intensity, Rochester Whiteout
South Division: Austin Outlaws, Kansas City Stampede, League City Legends, New Orleans Curse
West Division: Los Angeles Guardians, Phoenix Sol, Salt Lake City Hive, San Francisco Argonauts
Major League Quidditch was founded in 2014 by Ethan Sturm, who joined with Amanda Dallas in hopes of developing quidditch further. Sturm and Dallas currently co-commission the league. The first season took place in 2015 with eight teams. MLQ had an extremely successful first season, picking up a sponsorship with SAVAGE The Ultimate Apparel Company, hosting twelve regular season 3 game series, and putting together a Championship Weekend.
Let me say that I have yet to read the first Harry Potter book or watch a Harry Potter movie but I think I can safely say that the players do NOT actually fly on brooms in this league. The game incorporates a gender-integrated contact sport with elements of rugby, dodgeball, wrestling, flag football and other sports. Each team is made up of at least seven players who play with brooms between their legs at all times. Well, not actually the entire broom. Mostly a stick without the broom. Each team has three chasers, two beaters and one keeper in play at all times. Each team also sends one seeker into the game at the end of the seeker floor. Chasers and keepers – also known as quaffle players, attempt to score goals and prevent the other team from scoring goals with the quaffle (ball). Goals are worth ten points. The seekers try to remove the snitch ball from the snitch to score 30 points and end the period.
Don’t worry. You really need to watch a game on YouTube or on the league’s website: http://www.mlquidditch.com. Trust me. You will need to see it to believe it. I was cringing while watching them play and holding a stick between their legs to play the game. Honestly it looks like total chaos but somehow these dedicated athletes have made it a sport. You won’t see the games played in major league stadiums but you can stay informed about the teams and the league on just about any social media network.
The 2017 MLQ Championship will be played this weekend in League City, Texas. The weekend will feature 12 teams that have qualified after regular season play. In the first round it will be: Rochester vs. Salt Lake City, the winner to play Austin. New Orleans plays San Francisco with the winner playing Boston. League City faces New York and the winner will advance to play Indianapolis. Finally, Detroit will take on Washington with the winner moving on to play Los Angeles. Boston is the defending MLQ champions.
If you’re good with a broom, there may be hope for you to make it to the major leagues.