Quidditch has not yet gotten in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, but the word sounds just as it looks, and anyone who wants to see this growing global sport has a world championship to take in Saturday-Sunday near North Myrtle Beach.
The International Quidditch Association will have its World Cup VII at the brand new North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex, 150 Citizens Circle, Little River, just north of the city, accessed from S.C. 90 and Robert Edge Parkway.
Speaking last week by phone after his commuter train ride home from New York, Nick Candido, public relations manager for the association, a nonprofit formed in 2010, said 80 teams – and more than 1,600 players – will turn out to play this co-ed, contact sport this weekend on the north Strand, after advancing through regional championship tournaments around the world. A look at the schedule shows teams from such schools as Ball State, Boston, Louisiana State, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio State, San Jose State, Texas A&M and the universities of North Carolina and South Carolina.
Based on the game from the “Harry Potter” series, quidditch blends parts of rugby, basketball and dodgeball, with teams of seven people who keep a broom between their legs at all times on the field as three chasers, who try to score with a quaffle, or ball, through any of three hoops, or goals. On defense, a team has two beaters who use bludgers, or dodgeballs, to take an opposing player out of play. Each team also has a hoops minder, and a seeker who tries to catch the snitch, a ball carried by a neutral player who tries to avert capture at any cost.
Candido stressed the sport’s all-inclusive nature as well as its growth market potential, and spreading its exposure to newcomers and walk-on players.