ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A little bit of magic is making its way to the Stateline. Wizards in training zip around on broomsticks, trying to throw balls through hoops, while one player looks for a golden flying snitch. Quidditch isn’t only a game you can find in the Harry Potter books; it’s now making its way to Rockford.
“It’s a combination of rugby, dodge ball, basketball, flag football, and some other things all mixed together. It’s a little too complicated to comprehend until you watch it the first time,” said Luke Zak, IQA Midwest Regional Director.
Come April, Quidditch teams from all over the Midwest will come to Rockford to play the fantastical sport in the city’s first ever tournament. “It’s present at so many universities across the U.S. We have regional championships, we have a world cup we attend, So it’s become a really large thing, and we’d love to bring it here to Rockford as well,” said Shayla Johnson.
The tournament is expected to bring $36,000 into the Rockford economy. The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says bringing unusual sports to town is one of their main goals.
“It’s been a strategy for us for quite some time now to look beyond our base sports. One reason is because we want to grow the seasonality of our sports enterprise, you know, what we’re known for,” said RACVB President John Groh.
The Quidditch Tournament takes place April 26, and 27 on the Rockford Park District’s soccer fields by Elliot Golf Course. At this point, it’s really only open to spectators. Teams from throughout the U.S. have already signed up. The nearest team playing is from Illinois State University.