If you thought Quidditch was played only in the world of Harry Potter with broomsticks and a ball that flies, think again. The earthbound version of Quidditch actually seems a little like soccer, except the players wear capes and hold the broomsticks between their legs while the winged ball is represented by a really fast runner. The Intercollegiate Quidditch Association was founded in 2007 after the first official match between Vassar and Middlebury College (in Vermont). More than 400 colleges and 300 high schools have fielded teams since then, mostly in the U.S., with the sport being played in 45 states. Today, the founding body is an official nonprofit organization whose goal, per their website, is to “promote Quidditch as a new sport and lead outreach programs to increase athletic participation among children and young adults” and, of course, “to bring magic to communities.” For the next two days, at the Quidditch World Cup IV, you can see the gourd version of J.K. Rowling’s game at DeWitt Clinton Park, where more than 50 high school and college teams will be playing.

Sat., Nov. 13, 8 a.m.; Sun., Nov. 14, 8 a.m., 2010