Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Harry Potter fans bring wizard world to life in Quidditch match

Harry Potter fans 9-year-old James and 11-year-old Gillian Murphy of Massapequa, Long Island at the annual Quidditch World cup on Randall's Island. Over 100 teams face off at the game of Quidditch inspired by the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter fans 9-year-old James and 11-year-old Gillian Murphy of Massapequa, Long Island at the annual Quidditch World cup on Randall's Island. Over 100 teams face off at the game of Quidditch inspired by the Harry Potter series.

While most Americans were centered on football this weekend, Harry Potter fanatics are crazy about Quidditch.

Ichan Stadium on Randalls Island was transformed into tournament headququarters Saturday, with tents hawking everything from roast turkey legs to magic wands. Fans turned out in droves dressed in their wizarding best.

“It’s awesome. It gives people an excuse to keep the world of Harry Potter alive,” said Chelsea McQuaid, 18, representing U-Mass muggles in a long black wizarding robe with a remote-controlled dragon named Koschei perched on her shoulder.

“This is so cool!” squealed Jay Vogel, 6, the spitting image of the boy wizard in his wire-rim glasses. “I got a broomstick pen, and everything is really good!”

Behind him, the souvenir stand had just sold out of $60 replica broomsticks.

The co-ed sport blending rugby, field hockey and soccer (played on brooms) may not be airborne like in the books and movies, but the league is reaching new heights. The two-day tournament first came to the city last fall, with 46 teams on four fields at DeWitt Clinton Park in Hells Kitchen.

The 2011 festivities kicked off with an opening ceremonial procession presenting the almost 100 teams (including two university divisions and a high school league).

New York’s own NYU club fell to the University of Miami, however, by more than 150 points — but they weren’t admitting defeat.

“We’ve got three more games today, and another [Sunday]," said team captain Sarah Landis. “This cup is still anybody's game.”

New York’s own NYU club fell to the University of Miami, however, by more than 150 points — but they weren’t admitting defeat.

“We’ve got three more games today, and another [Sunday\],” said team captain Sarah Landis. “This cup is still anybody’s game.”

Visit worldcupquidditch.com for more info. 

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