The first live Quidditch match played in the United States was on October 9, 2005 at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. According to the International Quidditch Associations website, Quidditch is the fastest-growing sport in the United States, with 608 active teams in 28 states – and counting…..and no, none of the players can really fly around on broomsticks.
I learned of the sport a few years ago, but not until Rice University formed a team was I able to witness it in person – Harry Potter come to life. I saw busted lips, scraped knees, Bludgers, Quaffles, PVC broomsticks and an extreme dedication to this new sport. I have photographed them most every week since.
Like the military reenactors that have long been a part of my past, these players were compelled by something they read, something magical, and found a very public way to personally experience it. I don’t see much difference in the two groups. It would be easy to poke fun, but that would undermine their dedication and my love of the books. My intent is to photograph the sport as what it is, real – complete with non-flying brooms and tennis ball snitches.