A game that began between the covers of a book comes to life in Rockford with the help of a little magic.
Quidditch is the game played by witches and wizards in the Harry Potter series. It's been since adapted for the muggle world (meaning us non-magical folks,) and is brought to life on the fields of Sportscore Two in Rockford for the Midwest regional championship games.
The co-ed full contact sport is played on broomstick. The goal is to score points through three hoops at either end of the field.
Micah Haji-Sheikh, the Tournament Hospitality Coordinator, explains the basics of the game. "So you have your four main positions, your chaser is your offense, your beaters are your defense, your keeper is like your goalie in soccer, and your seeker, they're the ones that catch the snitch. The snitch is someone dressed in all yellow, they wear a pair of shorts with a tennis ball in a sock tucked into the back of it, and it's the seeker's job to grab the snitch tail and remove it. When that happens, the snitch is caught and the game is over."
"It's so much fun, it's different from anything else, whether you're looking to be competitive or you're a die-hard Harry Potter fan wanting to kind of bring that reality to life," says Kelsea Bourland, Captain of the Southern Illinois University Quidditch
In all, 30 teams from 12 states are here to compete.
"I know from my sports club advisor that it's actually the fastest growing college sport right now," says Bourland.
The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates players and their families will fill 400 hotel rooms this weekend, and generate more $73,000 for area business, like restaurants.
"We always go out, we eat everywhere, we don't bring stuff with us," says Bourland.
The tournament continues tomorrow. Teams are competing for spots at the International Quidditch Association's World Cup, held in Myrtle Beach in the spring.
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