HAINES CITY — Yes, it really is the game from the Harry Potter books and, yes, it really is coming to Haines City.
This weekend, on Feb. 15-16, Feltrim Sports Village will play host to the US Quidditch (USQ) South Regional Championship. The event will bring together the best in college quidditch teams throughout Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as offer free introductory quidditch lessons for children in the community. Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing is also a partner for the event.
“Feltrim Sports is very proud to have US Quidditch as a partner for one of the marquee events at our new facility,” said Mike Botkin, the Chief Operating Officer for the Feltrim Group. “This tournament will bring students from all across the state together to play a sport that they are passionate about, and it will also help introduce the game of quidditch in our community.”
Botkin further explained that the Feltrim Sports Village, which is new and just last month hosted another unique event — a cornhole tournament — is excited to bring events of all sorts to Haines City.
“What makes our facilities unique for tournaments like the USQ South Regional Championship is our location at Balmoral Resort allows for players and staff to have on site accommodations at the same spot as where all games and events will be held,” Botkin said, expounding on why organizations are eager to partner and bring their events to town.
Quidditch is a full-contact, competitive, mixed-gender sport inspired by the Harry Potter series. It began in 2005 and has since spread to over 300 colleges, high schools and club teams nationwide.
USQ hosts regional championships that crown regional champions for college teams and are part of the qualification process for teams attending the annual US Quidditch Cup. A quidditch team consists of up to 21 athletes, with seven players per team on the field at any one time.
Each player must keep a broom between their legs at all times. Points are scored by throwing a ball (the quaffle) through any of three hoops fixed at either end of the field, while another ball (the bludger) is used to ‘knock out’ players temporarily. The snitch is the ball that must be caught to end the game.
Admission to the event this weekend at Feltrim Sports Village is free and the event is open to the public. In addition to the tournament, US Quidditch will offer free game introductory workshops for ages 5-18 (elementary to high school students). These workshops will go over the basics of the game as well as run drills and scrimmages.
To participate, event staff say guests should just stop by the HQ tent on-site. For more information visit: https://www.usquidditch.org/events/view/usq-2020-south-collegiate-regional-championship or feltrimsports.com.