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Quidditch teams converge on North Myrtle Beach for seventh annual World Cup

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From the International Quidditch Association --

The International Quidditch Association's seventh annual World Cup comes to South Carolina next weekend, April 5 and 6, as 80 teams from 23 U.S. states and three nations meet for one of the world's most unique sporting events.

Quidditch, a full-contact, co-ed sport inspired by the Harry Potter series, began in 2005 and has since spread to over 300 colleges, high schools, and community teams worldwide. The league features both traditional sports powerhouses like Texas A&M, Ohio State University, and Louisiana State University, and Ivy League stalwarts like Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. These teams compete over a year-long season and qualify for the World Cup through one of nine regional championships throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Canada.

Previous World Cups have had as many as 10,000 spectators, with tens of thousands more watching online via livestream.  Last year's event, held in Kissimmee, Fla., saw the University of Texas capture the title by defeating the University of California, Los Angeles.

Quidditch is played with seven players to a side, all mounted on brooms. Three chasers score goals by putting the quaffle (similar to a volleyball) through any of three hoops at the opposite end of the field. A keeper defends the hoops, while two beaters throw bludgers (kickballs) at opposing players to temporarily knock them out of the game. Meanwhile, each team's seeker tries to catch the snitch, an autonomous fifteenth, yellow-clad athlete who has a custom-made velcro tail hanging from the back of their shorts, similar to flag football. A game of quidditch ends when the snitch is caught, and the capturing seeker's team is awarded an additional three goals. The IQA's official rulebook is available free for download.

The World Cup's extravagant atmosphere—once deemed by Fox News "a cross between the Superbowl and a medieval festival"—will also include singer-songwriter Howie Day, whose popular act will be showcased alongside "wizard rock" band Harry and the Potters. A family-friendly event, the World Cup will feature a "kidditch" pitch for children to try their hand at the game, as well as a merchant village where aspiring wizards can stock up on magical paraphernalia. The Harry Potter Alliance will also be at the tournament, sponsoring a book drive to benefit the North Strand Housing Shelter. Attendees are encouraged to bring books to donate.

The tournament runs from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday, and from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available online or at the door. At the door prices are $19 for adults and $12 for children for one day, and weekend passes are available at $29 for adults and $16 for children. VIP tickets are available online for $100 or at the door for $155. The event is co-hosted by the City of North Myrtle Beach and will be held at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex.

For more information about the World Cup, or to buy tickets, visitwww.iqaworldcup.com. To learn more about quidditch, visit www.iqaquidditch.com.

 

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