In 2005, a group of freshmen at Middlebury College in Vermont decided to adapt the game of quidditch from the Harry Potter novels for the real world. 15 years later, the sport has grown more rapidly than they could have imagined.

Tens of thousands of athletes now play quidditch in nearly 40 countries. There have been four international championships, in Oxford, England in 2012, Burnaby, British Columbia in 2014, Frankfurt, Germany in 2016, and Florence, Italy in 2018. And in the United States, US Quidditch hosts eight tournaments annually for 3,500 players. More than a passing fad, quidditch is here to stay.

It’s been called a cross between rugby, dodgeball, and tag. It’s a mixed gender contact sport with five balls, four positions, and a human snitch. The strategy is unbelievable. It’s exciting to watch and fun to play.

Photos by Isabella Gong and Janelle Karlen.