N.C. State, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and UNC Greensboro competed in the Tobacco Road Quidditch Cup.
Quidditch is like soccer, rugby, kickball and football all rolled into one, but unlike the Harry Potter version, participants don’t fly around on brooms.
“I wish I could fly, but if I can run fast enough, you never know, I might create some lift,” said Daniel Smider, of the N.C. State Quidditch team.
The goal of Quidditch is to get a deflated volleyball, also known as a Quaffle, through any of the other team’s hoops.
Another way to get points is to catch a snitch, which is a golden ball with wings. But since this version of Quidditch has no flying objects, a little improvising is necessary.
“It is in fact, a guy dressed in yellow with a sock hanging out of the back of his shorts,” Smider said.
Quidditch takes stamina, so the teams train for matches.
“It’s a lot of physicality every week,” Duke Quidditch player Chloe Rockow said. “We kind of beat each other up, but not being afraid to tackle.”
The players admit that their teams are part Harry Potter Fan Club and part athletic prowess.
“We all went to the midnight premiere this past Thursday (of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1”,” Rockow said.
“I argue the legitimacy of Quidditch as a sport,” N.C. State Quidditch player Rob Nunley said.
Smiders said he doesn’t worry about looking silly.
“It doesn’t matter because we all have brooms between our legs,” he said.
N.C. State defeated Duke in the finals to win the Golden Snitch Trophy on Sunday.
Nearly 300 U.S. colleges and universities have Quidditch teams. They are all part of the International Quidditch Association.