August 19, 2013 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Thinking out the box pays off for Matt Gibbons, Callie Wise and the management team of the IQA Tournament Director Sarah Woolsey North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation. They competed and won the opportunity to host the 2014 Quidditch Word Cup VII. The event will take place April 5-6 at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex at the intersections of the Robert Edge Parkway, Carolina Bays Parkway and Hwy 90 and will bring in around 1500 people representing 80 teams from throughout the U.S.
The Park and Sports complex will only be open to competitive events for a few weeks before the Quidditch event, hosting over a thousand Dixie Youth Baseball players, many of whom are expected to take the opportunity to stick around to see this event not usually played in their communities.
The International Quidditch Association (IQA) team of CEO Alex Benepe, COO Alicia Radford and Tournament Director Sarah Woolsey made personal visits to both Kissimmee and North Myrtle Beach to make the decision as to which location best met their need both physically and financially.
Sarah Woolsey said, “We are really excited about having the event here. It’s a great location; it’s a great city to hold this fantastic event. The North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex has a lot to offer. There is a dog park, a lake, six miles of hiking trails, everything you could want this place has it. There are eight soccer fields with electronic scoreboards. And you can bring as much food and drink as you want into the park. Free parking for teams! The hotels in North Myrtle Beach are 25 minutes from the airport, 5 minutes from the park and 30 seconds from the ocean.”
“Myself, my staff, and our entire city will do everything we can to make sure this is the best World Cup yet and that your players and spectators have a great experience,” said Matt Gibbons, Superintendent of Sports Tourism.
Quidditch is based upon the fantasy game described in the Harry Potter series. Played by wizards and witches on flying broom sticks, chasing flying golden balls and throwing other balls through hoops, the game captured the imagination of young people growing up in the 90’s and reading the fantasy series.
Today’s Quidditch is claimed to have been adapted in 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont and, according to the International Quidditch Association website (IQA), is played at over 300 universities and high schools throughout North America, Australia and England. The IQA hosts or sanctions around 25 events, including nine regional championships, International Open, Global Games and the World Cup.
Quidditch is a co-ed contact sport with a unique mix of elements from rugby, dodgeball, and tag. A quidditch team is made up of seven athletes who play with brooms between their legs at all times. While the game can appear chaotic to the casual observer, once familiar with the basic rules, quidditch is an exciting sport to watch and even more exciting to play.
A quidditch game requires each team to have at least two players on the field who identify with a different gender than at least two other players. The gender that a player identifies with is considered to be that player’s gender, which may or may not be the same as that person’s sex. The IQA accepts those who don’t identify within the binary gender system, and acknowledge that not all players identify as male or female and welcome people of all identities and genders into the league.