Although it will not be a recognized sporting event associated with the Olympics, there will in fact be an international Quidditch tournament, the International Quidditch Association Summer Games, in which the best players from around the country will represent Team USA and compete against the United Kingdon, Australia and France in a round-robin style of play in Oxford, England July 8-9.
Quidditch is an adaptation of the magical sport portrayed in the “Harry Potter” series. The object of the game is to score the quaffle in any of the three hoops on either side of the pitch. There are four positions: chaser, beater, keeper and seeker, each with their own assigned role that helps their team score points and win. Every time the quaffle is scored, that team is awarded 10 points. When the golden snitch, which is worth 30 points, is caught, the game ends and the team with the highest point total wins.
The top players from around the U.S. applied to the IQA with hopes of being able to represent Team USA in the IQA Summer Games in Oxford. There was originally a pool of more than 150 candidates to represent the U.S. in this international tournament. Two current Longhorns, Augustine Monroe, a junior social work major, and Sarah Holub, a senior public relations major, will be heading overseas to represent Team USA and participate in the tournament.
“The community is unique — everybody is united,” Monroe said. “When there’s a tournament, people come in from other schools and other teams, and they’re spending the night at your place if you’re hosting the tournament, so you get to meet a lot of the players that you’re playing against. Going into Team USA I already know a few of the other players because I’ve talked with them at other tournaments, but a majority I’ve never met and I am excited to meet because they’re all quality people.”
Monroe comes from an athletic background, playing multiple sports before joining the Texas Quidditch team. He fell in love with the game soon after and has been playing ever since. He is able to play every position well, but is listed as a keeper for Team USA.
“The physicality of it is similar to any contact sport, but it is just very unique because there are many different elements to the game,” Monroe said. “I first started playing a year ago, and since the first time I ran around on a makeshift broom, I saw the potential that the sport has. Now, one year later, it is being played in an international tournament across seas. It is an honor to have been selected for the first ever Quidditch Team USA.”
The intent is to host the tournament alongside the Olympic torch ceremony in Oxford July 9 to raise awareness on the fast-growing sport by showcasing the IQA’s focus on the athletic nature of the sport, as well as the idea of creating a worldwide community through the sport.