The magical sport of muggle quidditch held it's largest event of the year, in fact, it was the largest event for the International Quidditch Association EVER! And MuggleNet SnitchCenter was there in full force covering all of the action both on and off the field.
Alex Benepe, the commissioner for the IQA, opened the competition with a moving speech on the roots of the game and encouraging all 94 teams, 2,100 athletes, from 27 states and 4 nations to play with passion and honor that the sport deserves.
The first day of competition included a number of major upsets, but none was more significant than the University of Michigan upsetting the powerhouse team from Middlebury who suffered their first loss ever in competition. Teams that previously ranked low in the World Standings frequently celebrated victories over higher ranked teams and the stage was set for a dramatic final day.
We also have all of the scores from the Quidditch World Cup right here.
On Sunday afternoon, the single-game elimination playoffs began and some of the favorites to go into the finals were unsuccessful while other teams emerged ready to battle for the right to be named quidditch champion for 2011.
At approximately 8:00 PM, the finals began with the Division 2 championship game, which saw a great battle between Purdue University and R.I.T. The result, Purdue won 60-20 and took home the honors.
Next, as the Final Four teams entered Icahn stadium ready to battle it out, Commisioner Alex Benepe signed a contract with the Florida Quidditch region naming them the very first established Muggle Quidditch Conference. It is the first such conference of many to come.
The stage was set as the final four teams set off against each other: Florida (one of the members of the new conference) defeated Minnesota in a tight game that came down to the snitch snatch by the Florida seeker.
In the second game, defending champions Middlebury took on a highly praised and talented team from Texas A & M. In fact, you can hear Alex Benepe himself say during a SnitchCenter interview that Texas A & M could be the one team to beat. Texas A & M went up 70-50 and just needed the snitch snatch to win, but Middlebury's seeker came in from behind taking down the snitch and claimed the victory from Texas A & M.
To say the final match was exciting would certainly be an understatement as thousands of fans were chanting and screaming the entire game, mostly for Florida to finally beat the dominant Middlebury team. At one point, it looked promising for Florida as they were led by star Chaser Dre Clements (chants for Dr. Dre were indeed loud from the crowd) and Florida surged to a 60-30 lead. The volunteer EMT's were busy as they carted off two players with head injuries, including the Middlebury captain Adrienne Losch. But Middlebury fought hard, finishing the tournament with a decisive snitch snatch to win the coveted title as Muggle Quidditch World Champions.
The weekend on Randall's Island saw over 20,000 spectators, wizard wrock shows, circus-style entertainers, and even included a quidditch player from Canada's McGill team walking around on stilts between games. If you missed the chance to go this year, or for some reason just aren't sure if it is right for you to watch muggle quidditch as opposed to the magical sport from the Harry Potter series, then think again...you won't want to miss it next year!
You can see nearly 1,000 hi-res photos taken throughout the 2-day event by MuggleNet staffers Kat and Alison right here in our galleries.
On behalf of all of us in the MuggleNet SnitchCenter, a special thank you to the fans, the vendors, and the IQA for putting together a remarkable weekend. But mostly, thank you to all the teams and athletes that make this game truly magical!