Major League Quidditch Returns to Play After COVID-19 Pandemic

Muggle quidditch is finally back for in-person competitive matches. As previously announced, the 2021 Major League Quidditch (MLQ) season will start on June 26, and this weekend will be the season-opening gameplay weekend for MLQ.

The games will be played in more than one place. The first one is a two-day tournament at East River Park in New York. The hosting team, New York Titans, will be competing there against two other teams from the East Division: the Rochester Whiteout and the Charlotte Aviators.

New York is a perennial contender that finished second in 2015 and reached the semifinals in 2018 and 2019. But Rochester is expected to provide stiff competition, as the Whiteout has won a division title and completed two one-loss regular seasons, unlike the Titans.

This will be the Charlotte Aviators’ first-ever MLQ game because this is the team’s trial season. When the season is over, MLQ will decide if the Charlotte Aviators will join the other MLQ teams permanently or not.

 

There is a chaser from the Rochester Whiteout who is holding a quaffle and running forward. There is another chaser from the New York Titans who is running to him.

Credit: Miguel Esparza

 

Other games will be held at Highland View Park in Overland Park, Kansas. The Kansas City Stampede, as the hosting team, will be playing against the League City Legends, coming to Kansas from the Houston, Texas, area. The last three-game series will be organized at Riverwood Park in Indianapolis, Indiana, by the Indianapolis Intensity. Their opponents will be the Cleveland Riff.

 

A seeker from Kansas City Stampede is pictured trying to catch a snitch, but the snitch runner is resisting. A referee and others look on.

Credit: Mike Iadevaia

 

All games are open to the public, and the tickets are priced at the amount the customer thinks they’re worth. For those who can’t attend the tournament, the games will be streamed on three social media outlets: the MLQ YouTube channel, the Indianapolis Intensity Facebook page, and the Kansas City Stampede Facebook page, according to the schedule.

 

 

 

These will be the first competitive quidditch matches in the United States since March 2020. The last time MLQ played was in August 2019 in Richmond, Virginia. Later, the 2020 season was canceled. Now, every team that wants to play has to strictly follow the MLQ’s guidelines, released in March.

Teams are competing to qualify for the roster for the Benepe Cup, which is the main league trophy. The final tournament, the 2021 MLQ Championship, will be held on August 21–22 in Howard County, Maryland.

Press Release 1

Major League Quidditch Returns to Play After COVID-19 Pandemic

New York Titans host two division rivals in season-opening tournament

New York (June 23, 2021) — Quidditch is back! Major League Quidditch (MLQ) is returning to play for the first time in nearly two years this weekend in New York.

The New York Titans are hosting a two-day tournament at East River Park, where they will compete against two East Division rivals, the Rochester Whiteout and the Charlotte Aviators. The games, which will take place from 1 [to] 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 26 and 12 [to] 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 27, are open to the public and pay what you think it’s worth. Tickets are available here.

No competitive quidditch games at any level have been contested in the U.S. since March 2020. MLQ teams last played in August 2019 at the league championship in Richmond, Va. The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the entire 2020 season.

MLQ resumed in 2021 with a 35-page book of health and safety guidelines, including a Covid Code of Conduct, the implementation of video tryouts and the suspension of cross-border matches with Canadian franchises. No team can compete in 2021 unless all its participating athletes are fully vaccinated or daily case rates in the county or metropolitan area are below a certain threshold.

Quidditch is a mixed-gender, full-contact sport played by over 600 teams in 40 countries. The rules, originally adapted from the Harry Potter book series, incorporate a mix of elements from basketball, rugby and dodgeball.

Founded in 2015, MLQ is the highest level of quidditch in North America. The league is home to 15 franchises and one trial expansion team across the U.S. and Canada and runs from June to August. The teams recruit star players from local college and adult quidditch programs.

New York is a perennial contender that finished second in 2015 and reached the semifinals in 2018 and 2019. But Rochester is expected to provide stiff competition, as the Whiteout has won a division title and completed two one-loss regular seasons, unlike the Titans.

The Charlotte Aviators are making their debut as the first trial expansion team in league history. A trial expansion team is a team [that] MLQ has determined could be a potential franchise location in the future and is invited to participate for a trial season.

The teams are competing for a chance to take home the Benepe Cup — the league trophy named after real-life quidditch founder Alex Benepe — at the 2021 MLQ Championship in Howard County, Md. on Aug. 21-22. The top four teams in each of the three divisions qualify for the event.

Press Release 2

Major League Quidditch Returns to Play After COVID-19 Pandemic

New York, Indianapolis, Kansas City host matches

New York (June 23, 2021) — Quidditch is back! Major League Quidditch (MLQ) is returning to play for the first time in nearly two years this weekend in three separate cities.

In the featured matches of the season-opening weekend, the New York Titans are hosting a two-day tournament at East River Park, where they will compete against two East Division rivals, the Rochester Whiteout and the Charlotte Aviators. The games will take place from 1 [to] 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, and 12 [to] 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 27. Tickets are available here.

Elsewhere on Saturday, June 26, the Indianapolis Intensity are hosting a three-game series against the Cleveland Riff at Riverwood Park in Indianapolis, and the Kansas City Stampede are facing off against the League City Legends at Highland View Park in Overland Park, Kan. The games in Indianapolis will take place from 1 [to] 4 p.m., and the games in Kansas City will last from 4 [to] 7 p.m. Tickets are available here and here.

All games are open to the public and pay what you think it’s worth.

No competitive quidditch games at any level have been contested in the U.S. since March 2020. MLQ teams last played in August 2019 at the league championship in Richmond, Va. The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the entire 2020 season.

MLQ resumed in 2021 with a 35-page book of health and safety guidelines, including a Covid Code of Conduct, the implementation of video tryouts and the suspension of cross-border matches with Canadian franchises. No team can compete in 2021 unless all its participating athletes are fully vaccinated or daily case rates in the county or metropolitan area are below a certain threshold.

Quidditch is a mixed-gender, full-contact sport played by over 600 teams in 40 countries. The rules, originally adapted from the Harry Potter book series, incorporate a mix of elements from basketball, rugby and dodgeball.

Founded in 2015, MLQ is the highest level of quidditch in North America. The league is home to 15 franchises and one trial expansion team across the U.S. and Canada and runs from June to August. The teams recruit star players from local college and adult quidditch programs.

The teams are competing for a chance to take home the Benepe Cup — the league trophy named after real-life quidditch founder Alex Benepe — at the 2021 MLQ Championship in Howard County, Md. on Aug. 21-22. The top four teams in each of the three divisions qualify for the event.

 

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Veronika Kohoutová

I played Muggle Quidditch for the Prague Pegasus and on our national team in the European Games 2019.

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