History of US Quidditch

Quidditch was founded in 2005 at Middlebury College by then-freshman Xander Manshel. Looking for a variation on their normal Sunday activities, Manshel and his friends laid the foundation for a game that has grown in leaps and bounds to become a widely respected, physically intense sport.

2005

In October, the first-ever game of quidditch is played on Battell Beach at Middlebury College in Vermont. Players show up to participate wearing capes fashioned from towels; one player brings a lamp to ride instead of a broom.

In November, seven teams consisting of Middlebury students participate in an intramural  tournament.

2006

Quidditch continues to grow in popularity on the Middlebury campus, and friends of students at other colleges hear of the game and plan to start their own teams. Vassar College establishes plans to create their own collegiate team.

In December, the game is profiled in an article in the Wall Street Journal.

2007

In November, the first World Cup is held between Middlebury and Vassar. The Middlebury quidditch team becomes one of the most popular clubs on campus.

2008

In March, Middlebury students spearhead a spring break roadtrip that sees quidditch played at six college campuses in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The sport is featured on MTV and in USA Today, spurring a surge of interest.

In November, the second World Cup features 12 teams, including the University of Washington, Louisiana State University, and the first international team, from McGill University.

2009

In October, 2,000 spectators witness the third World Cup, which consists of 21 teams, the largest tournament to date. Participating teams include Texas A&M University.

2010

In March, US Quidditch is incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The first-ever meeting of USQ board of directors takes place in May.

In November, 46 teams compete in World Cup IV in Manhattan, the first world cup tournament to be held away from the Middlebury campus. 15,000 spectators and over 40 media outlets witness the event over two days.

2011

In February, Vassar College competes against the University of Vassa, Finland, in the first-ever match of transcontinental teams.

In March, USQ hosts its first official regional tournament, the Swamp Cup in Gainesville, Florida. Regional tournaments follow at locations across the United States and in Canada.

In November, World Cup V hosts 96 teams on Randall’s Island in New York City. The finals take place in Icahn Stadium and pit Middlebury against the University of Florida, the first team outside the northeastern United States to reach the World Cup finals.

In December, the Australian Quidditch Association is established with the inaugural QUAFL Cup in New South Wales.

2012

Quidditch continues to grow, with hundreds of teams established at colleges and high schools, and many more community teams. Over 110 teams are official members of USQ.

In July, USQ hosts the Olympic Expo Games in Oxford, United Kingdom. National teams representing Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States all compete. Later that month, USQ hosts QuidCon, the first-ever quidditch conference, in Chicago. Players from three countries gather to participate in the four-day gathering.

In September, USQ charges the Referee Development Team with certifying the first-ever official referees in the sport. The RDT certifies over 100 referees who have the authority to officiate league-standard games.

In November, Regional Championship tournaments, which serve as the first-ever World Cup qualifying events, begin with the European Regional Championship in Lesparre-Médoc, France. The Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, and Canadian Regional Championships follow later that month, with West, Southwest, and South Regional Championships following in spring of 2013.

2013

In January, quidditch is televised for the first time as a sporting event on the Buckeye Cable Sports Network, which airs matches between Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo.

In April, World Cup VI is held in Kissimmee, Florida, and features 80 teams. The University of Texas at Austin defeats the University of California, Los Angeles in the first World Cup finals match not won by Middlebury College. The livestream of the finals match gains 8,000 views. In commemoration of Texas’ victory, the University of Texas illuminates the Main Building on campus, an honor also given to recognize Big 12 Conference championships.

In June, quidditch is featured prominently in The Internship.

2014

In April, World Cup VII is held in North Myrtle Beach, Florida, and features 80 teams. The University of Texas at Austin defeats Texas State University.

In July, the Tournament Director Certification program launches, with the goal of increasing quality and consistency across all official tournaments. 165 tournament directors become certified in the first season. The coach certification program also launches this month. In partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance, this program gives USQ coaches the tools they need to effectively lead their team. It also trains coaches in how to recognize the symptoms of concussions and act appropriately for the safest course of action.

In September, the documentary film Mudbloods, about World Cup V featuring UCLA Quidditch, is released and is screened at film festivals throughout the country.

2015

In April, World Cup 8 is held in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and features 60 teams. The University of Texas wins their 3rd straight title as national champion, defeating Lone Star Quidditch Club in the finals. The live Snapchat story is viewed by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and World Cup 8 trends on Twitter. CEO Alex Benepe and COO Alicia Radford announce their departure, and a search begins for a new Executive Director.

In June, USQ releases its first ever strategic plan.

In September, Donte Quinine is announced as Executive Director.

In October, Quidditch celebrates its tenth birthday. Former COO Alicia Radford releases a book honoring the occasion, Quidditch Turns Ten.