The International Quidditch Association (IQA) is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to promote, develop, and govern the sport of quidditch and inspire young people to lead physically active and socially engaged lives. The IQA fulfills this mission through a holistic policy called “the Three C’s.” These represent the three pillars of the IQA’s work: Competition, Community, and Creativity.
We’re serious about fun. We welcome quidditch teams from any part of the world and in any age group – from middle schools through high school, college, and beyond. Our teams don’t have to be affiliated with a school or institution.
Quidditch was adapted from the Harry Potter novels in 2005, at Middlebury College in Vermont, by Xander Manshel, a freshman looking to change up his dorm’s tradition of Sunday bocce. That first group wore towels for capes and came with an assortment of broom-like implements, including a Swiffer mop and even a lamp. One kid wore his graduation robes. The game was an immediate hit on campus and was played on an intramural level until 2007, when Alex Benepe founded the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association after the first intercollegiate match between Middlebury and Vassar College. Since then the sport has really taken off (figuratively if not literally): students from more than 1,000 colleges and high schools from a dozen countries have contacted the IQA looking to start their own teams, and over 300 are actively playing around the world.
In 2005, the first “Quidditch World Cup” featured ten intramural teams at Middlebury. By 2010, 46 college and high school teams – from such diverse institutions as Harvard, Texas A&M, Michigan State, NYU, and Chestnut Hill College – competed in New York City on four fields with over 15,000 spectators. In 2011, the number grew to 96 teams. By the beginning of the 2012 season, the IQA had over 175 dues-paying official member teams from 45 US States and five other countries. After five successful World Cups, there were too many official teams for World Cup to be a first-come, first-serve event any longer. The IQA hosted regional championships as World Cup qualifying events for the first time ever. So far, the US Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Northeast, as well as Australia, Europe, and Eastern Canada, have had their regionals. This spring, the US West, Southwest, and South will follow.
Where do we go from here? Onward and upward. The IQA has plans to increase the number of official teams all over the world, but especially in the UK, Europe, and Asia. Our regions are planning to host more and better events over the course of the year, and since the first-ever cable broadcast of a quidditch game in January 2013, the IQA is looking to get quidditch televised in more places.