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'Harry Potter' Fans Prep for City's Quidditch Tournament

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The Stony Brook University quidditch squad is just one of a hundred teams from as far as New Zealand that are set to compete in the fifth annual Quidditch World Cup on Randall’s Island this weekend.

The sport is well known among "Harry Potter" fans as the fast-flying game in which Hogwarts students in the popular fictional series shoot at hoops, dodge bewitched obstacles and try to snatch the prized Golden Snitch.

At Stony Brook University, what started as a modest Quidditch club just over a year ago now has 150 passionate players of all levels.

“For those who've not been familiarized with Harry Potter, the whole broom concept is something that takes a very long time to get used to,” said Daniel Ahmadizadeh, founder and captain of the Stony Brook Quidditch team. “It's a fantasy come to life, but at the same time it is a sport, so it is a great blend of having that fun along with having an opportunity to compete.”

Quidditch has been adopted for earthly beings as a quirky, full-contact sport combining rugby, dodgeball and basketball while running with a broomstick between each player’s legs. And the nascent sport has gained popularity across college campuses here in the U.S. and abroad.