As the weather in Muncie gets cooler, the Ball State Quidditch Team is packing its bags and heading for the sunshine state.

The Cardinals have qualified for the U.S. Quidditch Cup 10 in Kissimmee, Florida, which will take place this weekend. Luke Lipps, a junior on the team, said Ball State is coming to the tournament with intentions of victory.

“Last year we ended in the final four. We’re looking to do just as well, if not better, this year,” Lipps said. 

This is the team’s fourth year competing in nationals. The tournament is composed of 60 teams from around the country that will compete Saturday and Sunday for the title of League Champion. For many players on Ball State’s Quidditch Team, going to nationals has become a yearly tradition that will be unforgotten.

“I’m going to miss everything about it,” said Casey Richman, who is also a junior on the team. “I’m graduating in December, so this will be my last time going to nationals. It’s really sad.”

For those unfamiliar with the sport of quidditch, it is based off the game played in the Harry Potter movie series. In the series, players fly on broomsticks and attempt to capture a magical, flying ball called a snitch while also attempting to score points by throwing other balls through rings. It might be easy to wonder how an animated, magical game could be turned into a real-life competition.

“In the real game, the snitch doesn’t fly…and neither do we. So stop asking,” Lipps joked.

Although this sport is based on a series about magic and wizards, the game itself is no joke. Team members train together four times a week in addition to workouts outside of scheduled practices. They also compete together in three to four tournaments each semester to stay in shape and prepare to qualify for nationals.

“It’s a contact sport, a lot of people don’t realize that,” team member Jake Riggen said. “It really requires a lot of athleticism.”

Richman said a lot of people underestimate the sport just because it is based off the Harry Potter story. “Don’t knock it until you try it,” she said.

Join the action at www.usquidditchcup.com if you would like to follow the tournament and learn more about quidditch.