Fans of Harry Potter will be thrilled to learn that North Myrtle Beach will host the 2014 International Quidditch Association World Cup VII at the new North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex next year.
April 5-6, the top 60 Division I collegiate Quidditch teams and 20 Division II collegiate Quidditch teams from campuses across the U.S. and Canada will participate in the World Cup.
The event is expected to bring 4,000 spectators, generate over 3,000 room nights and have a direct economic impact of over $1.5 million on the North Myrtle Beach economy, according to North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling.
The International Quidditch Association (IQA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to governing the sport of Quidditch and inspiring young people to lead physically active and socially engaged lives.
Fans of Harry Potter know Quidditch is the sport created by the author J.K. Rowling. Fans also know you play on a broomstick while flying through the air.
The real-world version of Quidditch is described by Dowling as a "coed, full-contact sport that combines elements of rugby, dodge ball, and Olympic handball, with four balls, plus a human snitch. In the book, the snitch is a gold ball with wings that flies around the course.
Quidditch is now played at over 300 universities and high schools throughout North America, Australia, and Europe. Here's a link to the IQA's website. http://www.internationalquidditch.org/.
"We are excited and honored to host this prestigious event," said North Myrtle Beach Superintendent of Sports Tourism Matt Gibbons. "Quidditch is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and we feel that our weather, facilities and all that we offer as a destination makes us the ideal location to host the World Cup. We look forward to showing the players and spectators a great experience in North Myrtle Beach."