Quaffles, bludgers and Golden Snitches on tap this weekend

Quidditch players get physical in front of the hoop.AUBURNDALE – Muggles rejoice! Quaffles, bludgers and a Golden Snitch or two are sure to be in play when the South Regional Championship for US Quidditch (USQ) takes the field at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale this weekend.

Teams from around the state of Florida as well as South Carolina take the fields Saturday and Sunday.

In the popular novels by author J.K. Rowling and the subsequent movies, the sport utilized flying broomsticks, various types of balls and more than a little magic. On the fields in Auburndale, play has been adapted to our non-magical reality, as players astride broomsticks try to score the most points by throwing balls through various hoops before the snitch – a tennis ball inside a sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official – is caught.

Introduced as a sport in 2005 and has grown ever since, primarily on college campuses. However, it is played in Canada, across Europe and has spread to Asia as well.

USQ hosts regional championships as part of the qualification process for teams attending the annual US Quidditch Cup. For teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, this will be their opportunity to earn a shot at the national championship, the US Quidditch Cup.

Lake Myrtle Park is located at 2701 Lake Myrtle Park Road in Auburndale.