CHICAGO -- "A lot of people get into quidditch because they know it from Harry Potter, but they stay for the sport."
Quidditch (now known as Quadball) is a co-ed sport inspired by the Harry Potter series. In 1997, quidditch was introduced to readers in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. The game then came to life in the 2001 movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. While they couldn't fly around on broomsticks, two college students in 2005 figured out how to ground the sport. Today, there are more than 50 college and club quidditch teams across the country and even around the world.
One of those teams is Chicago United Quadball Club!
Chicago United Quadball gives players all across the Chicagoland area the opportunity to play and learn about quidditch. The sport, described as a mix of rugby, soccer, dodgeball and flag football, involves two teams of six fighting over the quaffle (main scoring ball) to score points for their team. All while riding on a PVC pipe as a broomstick!
While quidditch gets its inspiration from Harry Potter, Chicago United want it to be known as more than just the "magical sport."
"One of the goals of our team specifically is to get ourselves taken seriously as the athletes we are," team manager Hannah Miller said. "And players that want to take the sport a step further can show off their athletic prowess on Major League Quadball teams playing against other teams across the country.
Recently the U.S. Quidditch League as a whole underwent a name change from Quidditch to Quadball. It was in an effort to distance themselves from derogatory comments made by the creator of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling. The U.S. League saw the name change as an opportunity to rebrand the sport into something new, unique, growing and open to all players.
Chicago United players not only enjoy getting to play quidditch, but also appreciate the teammates and friendships they've made through it.
"It took me back to my soccer years. No matter how competitive we can get, were always hanging out after games," head coach Dany Yaacoub said.
Longtime player Scott Rein recounted how after finishing college, all his friends moved away to different parts of the country. But having a team like Chicago United has helped him form many of his close friendships in his young adult years.
Chicago United Quadball Club is constantly recruiting people to its team and family who want to play casually or competitively. To learn more about the team and get in touch with its members, you can find them on Facebook at Chicago United Quadball Club, or at their email, firstname.lastname@example.org.