By Matthew Brooks
Salt Lake City will play host to the US Quidditch Cup in 2021.
The Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office issued a statement saying that the event, based on a game from the Harry Potter books, may bring 7,000 attendees to Salt Lake City “with a direct estimated economic impact of $2.6 million.”
The Regional Athletic Complex will the site of the games. The complex offers 16 grass field spread across 120 acres.
Salt Lake City offers potentially cheaper flights for teams coming to the event due to the Salt Lake International Airport’s status as a major hub.
Adapting the game for non-magic folk
The game is played on a field smaller than a standard football field. The field is 66 yards by 36 yards. A football field is 100 yards by 53 1/3 yards.
The real-life version of the Harry Potter-inspired game is a mixture of soccer and tag, with a bit of rugby included.
While players can’t fly as they do in the books by J.K. Rowling, each player must keep a broomstick in between their legs during play.
Two teams, each with seven players, attempt to score points by moving a volleyball up the field. Points are scored when a player throws the volleyball, called a quaffle, through one of a series of hoops on the field.
Two additional players bring the dodgeball aspect into the game. The players, called beaters, use a dodgeball in an attempt to strike players out of the game temporarily.
Each team has a single player who acts as a seeker. The seeker’s purpose is to catch a small ball, called a snitch, attached to a neutral player. When the snitch is caught, the seeker gains his or her team 30 points and the game ends.
Mixed gender play
The Quidditch teams both allow for and require mixed gender participation.
Game rules state that for the first eighteen minutes of play no more than four participants of the same gender may be on the field. This is the Gender Maximum rule. The rule also applies during the first thirty seconds of overtime.
The US Quidditch organization consists of 60 collegiate teams and 24 community teams.
There are 300 college, high school and community teams nationwide, according to the press release from the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office.