Quidditch? Yes…you read that correctly. The Kansas University Quidditch team is now headed to the World Cup with a top ranking. They were #1 in the rankings in mid-October, but they fell one spot to #2 in the most recent rankings behind the sport’s originators from Middlebury College in Vermont. They will head to the World Cup on Nov. 11 to try to recapture that top spot.
Jonathan Cooper, KU Junior from Lee’s Summit, MO, recently produced a segment about the Quidditch team for his reporting class and The Local Show now presents an excerpt from the piece he produced after the rankings came out in October with KU atop the list.
Here is the accompanying story he wrote:
KU Quidditch Team Seeks World Cup Win
The University of Kansas has a new number one ranked athletic team, and it is not basketball. It’s not football or soccer or volleyball either. In fact, many people probably don’t even consider it a sport.
But for about 30 KU students, the news that their team is the best in the world, is the icing on the cake to a sport they started playing only two years ago. The sport is Quidditch, the Harry Potter inspired game where wizards fly to score goals in multiple rings.
“It’s different from the Harry Potter world in the fact that you can’t fly,” said Doug Whiston, team captain and founder. “We have to make certain concessions to actual physics.”
KU junior Doug Whiston organized the club his freshman year, which officially was recognized by the University in 2010. Whiston noticed the sport gain popularity at other schools around the country and gathered his friends to play in tournaments.
“It started just as casual talk and then Wichita State e-mailed us about a tournament they were hosting,” Whiston said. “We quickly scrambled and got a team together, and then we went down, competed and got third place.”
The team quickly grew and started playing in tournaments against other schools. Just last week the International Quidditch Association ranked KU as the number one team in all of human Quidditch.
“Now that we are ranked one we have a target on our back,” said Hai Nguyen, a player that is one of the founding members. “We have to bring our A-game every time or we could lose a step.”
The team’s success has come fast for Whiston who is unsure if they deserve it.
“A lot of schools on the East Coast say we only play Midwest schools,” Whiston said. “They tell us to face some real competition.”
Whiston and the rest of the team will get their chance starting Nov. 11 at the World Cup in New York.
“The World Cup is a tournament with about 100 teams,” Whiston said. “There will be schools there from around the county and a couple international ones.”
Whiston said the team is excited for the opportunity, but for him, winning is not everything.
“I just want to see us face some tough competition,” Whiston said. “It will be fun to see how good schools on the East Coast are.”
The tournament will run from Nov. 11 to 14, with the winner earning bragging rights as the best team in the world.
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