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Harry Potter's Quidditch comes to L.A.

March 31, 2011 |  4:40 pm

Quidditch_bronxhighLos Angeles Harry Potter fans, ready for a little Quidditch?

Our sibling blog Hero Complex, which is always two steps ahead when it comes to Harry Potter, has news of a Quidditch tournament happening this weekend -- right here in L.A.

The International Quidditch Assn. is hosting the Western Cup, a real-life Quidditch tournament, in Los Angeles this weekend.  Replacing capes and sorcery with cleats and athleticism, 11 college teams from all over the West Coast will compete in this rough-and-tumble contact sport ripped from the pages of the “Harry Potter” saga. The event is Saturday and Sunday at Cheviot Hills Park. The action starts each day at 10 a.m.

Since the game of Ground Quidditch began in 2005, this unlikely intramural sport unites a mish-mash of muggles (non-wizards), ranging from devout Potter nerds to able-bodied jocks who haven’t even seen the movies. Nowhere is Quidditch’s growing popularity more apparent than the annual tournament circuit, including the IQA’s World Cup, slated for November in New York City this year.

Competing teams include Arizona State University, Emerson College, Moorpark College, Occidental College, San Jose State University, UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC. There are also club teams that will play. All the events are free.

In all, more than 120 players will participate. To mimic the game invented by J.K. Rowling in her "Harry Potter" series -- the players fly on broomsticks --  our earthbound players, muggles all, play while holding broomsticks between their legs.


-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: An exhibition Quidditch match in Central Park in 2010. Credit: Associated Press