As you read this, I’m currently on my way to Florence to represent the Brazilian national team at the Quidditch World Cup. I’m really, really excited.
Based on the sport in Harry Potter, quidditch was adapted for the real world by a couple Middlebury students in 2005. If you’re interested, you can check out a video summary of the rules here or some highlights here. I started playing quidditch on 2013 at Villanova, and since then I’ve also played with SPQR in Rome and Boitatá in Caxias do Sul. I don’t pretend to be any sort of athletic star or anything; I’ve just found it’s a great way to make friends abroad with a common interest.
Unfortunately Boitatá has since disbanded—the captain had some trouble sustaining a team here when there was only one opposing team within a ten-hour radius—but because I only played with them over the course of this last year, I was qualified under IQA rules to play on Team Brazil at this year’s World Cup.
World Cup festivities start on June 27, but actual gameplay won’t happen until this weekend. It will be livestreamed, too, but with 29 teams playing (from across Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas!), I’m not sure how much airtime a relatively small program like Brazil’s is going to get.
Day 1 will be pool play; we’ll be facing Austria, Vietnam, the Netherlands, and the US. Day 2 will be bracket play, with the full schedule available here. To be honest, we’re facing some pretty tough teams. (The US is probably the best in the world, followed by reigning champions, Australia), and I’ll just be happy if we can eke out a position somewhere in the middle.
If you want more updates, you can follow the IQA Quidditch World Cup’s Facebook page or the Brazilian Quidditch Association’s Facebook page (they often post an English translation beneath the original Portuguese). There’s also an app!
I’ll be wearing #14, and I can’t wait.