MOOSE JAW, Sask. – Wannabe witches and wizards took over Moose Jaw’s YaraCentre Sunday for Quidditch Canada’s 2015 Western Regional Championship.
“Basketball mixed with dodgeball with a sprinkle of tag,” was how 12-year-old spectator Ashlin Turcott described the game.
The sport originated in the Harry Potter book series in which players fly on brooms.
In the real world version, two teams of seven players —; on terra firma —; take part per round. The goal is to get the most points. Ten points are earned by shooting “quaffles” (a volleyball in today’s case) into the opposing team’s three hoops.
There are 400 teams worldwide, according to Megan Stacey, Quidditch Canada’s events director. Canada’s first team was started in 2008. Today, there are 30 teams in the county.
“It’s just getting bigger. We’ve got teams from Dalhousie in Halifax to UVic in B.C. and everywhere in between,” she said.
The Winnipeg Whomping Willows faced the Alberta Clippers in three matches between 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. A training session wrapped up the day.
“I’ve been playing Quidditch for about a year and a half,” said Calgarian Parvathi Nair, a Seeker for the latter (and winning) team. “I’m not athletic in any way. This game gives me an opportunity to be athletic.”
“You don’t need to be 8 feet tall like basketball players or like 500 feet wide like a football player, we’ve got positions for everyone,” said Jason Rosenberg, Winnipeg Whomping Willows Captain and Founder.
Julian Wotherspoon, who played as a substitute player in the championship, founded the Regina Quidditch Club last summer. With about seven regular players so far, she said she hopes to grow the team so that it can compete in future championships.
“We were reminded today, on the pitch, that we need to work on our cardio,” she said with a laugh.
The Eastern Canadian Regional Championship will be held between Feb. 7-8th, followed by the Canadian National Championship March 28-29th.