The video: Not long ago, Quidditch was a sport exclusive to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. But a nerdy version for "muggles," or nonmagical people, is now being played at 400 colleges around the world. (Watch a report below.) Instead of flying on broomsticks, players run around the field with brooms tucked between their legs. And instead of chasing a flying, winged "snitch," the collegiate "seekers" chase a human playing the role of the elusive gold ball. Players from 60 schools — up from 20 last year — will gather in New York on Nov. 13 and 14 to compete in the Quidditch World Cup, and enthusiasts are lobbying for the NCAA to recognize the game as a college sport.
The reaction: Um, says Jordan Yerman at Now Public, "we must point out that Quidditch... requires flying brooms and magical balls." By lobbying for official recognition, the dorks who play it are just begging to be mocked. Despite its roots in fantasy, says Louisa Taylor at the Vancouver Sun, Quidditch is real enough now. The "action is exhausting" and "a good snitch is expected to be sneaky, fast and slightly nuts, to boost the fun quotient." I invite the haters to try to keep up on the field. Watch a Wall Street Journal report about the upcoming world championship:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- What Keeping Up with the Kardashians can teach America about interracial marriage
- Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- It's time for the police to rethink 'shoot-to-kill'
Subscribe to the Week