If you thought Quidditch was just a made-up game from a children’s book, you’d be wrong. You can play it right here in Chicago!
Chicago United Quidditch Club hosts open practices of the muggle-adapted sport on a regular basis in parks throughout Chicagoland. It might seem a little silly, but as the Weasley twins say, “Rough game, Quidditch.” Quidditch, sometimes known as “Muggle Quidditch,” is full-contact and players take the game very seriously with hopes of making it to the United States Quidditch Cup, this year held in Richmond, VA in mid-July. If you’re ready to hop on a broom and soar to new heights (just kidding; there’s no flying), head to Riis Park on Sat Jan 4 at 10 a.m. for a wizardly workout!
So how do you play?
Muggle Quidditch is a mixed-gender (and trans-friendly) sport first developed in 2005 by Middlebury College students Xander Manshel and Alex Benepeat. The sport has since spread across the globe. Players must have a broom (pvc pipe) between their legs at all times and Chasers race down the pitch to score in one of three goals, each worth ten points. Keepers try to block goals and Seekers keep an eye out for the Snitch played by a runner in yellow shorts. Hanging from the Snitch runner’s shorts is a sock with a tennis ball in it. Once that’s caught, the game ends and that Seeker’s team receives 30 points.
Chicago United hosts regular open practices for people to try out the sport in addition to team practices and hosting and traveling to tournaments. There are also a number of other Quidditch Teams in IL that Chicago United often practice and compete in tournaments with. Boom Train and Chicago United are the only community teams in IL, but there’s a number of College teams students should check out including Columbia College of Chicago, Illinois State University, and Southern Illinois University.
If you’re a massive Harry Potter fan or are just looking for a fun, full-body workout, Quidditch is an excellent form of exercise. It’s also a fun way to make new friends, as the team usually goes out to eat after. If you’re interested in joining Chicago United as an official player, message the team on Facebook. Team players must pay annual dues and fees to attend official practices and play in tournaments. Find out more here.
Location: Riis Park, 6100 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL
Next Open Practice: Sat Jan 4, 2020 at 10 a.m.
Note: Chicago United Quidditch Club is not affiliated with JK Rowling or Warner Bros.
Feature photo: @chicagoquid