November 3, 2010 8:30 AM ET
Even Daniel Radcliffe applauds the idea of making "Quidditch" into an NCAA sport.
Author J.K. Rowling didn't just start a worldwide sensation by creating Harry Potter. She created a phenomenon that far surpasses any book or movie, which is proven by the sport she created specifically for the series -- the sport of "Quidditch." If you've read the books, seen the movies or have kids who have done either of those things, then you've probably heard of the game. If not, we suggest you pick up the book, "Quidditch Through the Ages," another book penned by Rowling under the name Kennilworthy Whisp, so as to exist within the Harry Potter world. Yeah, it's confusing, but that's not the point. The point is the fact that some college kids out there have made the sport real, despite the fact that it requires flying broomsticks as well as many other hovering bits and pieces, leaving a very physical mix of rugby, soccer, dodgeball, basketball and tag.
You see, in the world of Harry Potter, a "nonmagical" person is called a "Muggle." The college students who have magically transformed the book version of Quidditch into a real life sport admit and accept that their version is clearly for Muggles. It's worth mentioning that some of these student/athletes go to Harvard, Middlebury, Yale and Oxford. That's right -- some of the greatest young minds out there are playing Harry Potter sports (luckily, they aren't pretending to fly while they play). The best part? They're far from alone. There's even an International Quidditch Association (IQA).
If the fact that the "Quidditch World Cup" is taking place in Manhattan on November 13 and 14 doesn't open your eyes, then how about the fact that there are well over 100 schools who have active teams or are currently forming them. The sport has caught on so much that there is talk of making it into a real NCAA sport, which isn't so far-fetched if you consider the fact that the NCAA requires 40 to 50 schools to have teams in a sport in order to be part of the NCAA. Oh, and it doesn't stop there. There are even talks of trying to eventually make this into an Olympic sport.
So, while you might be laughing off this whole fantasy-turned-reality sport phenomenon off, just keep one thing in mind: Fantasy Sports have all but taken over groups of friends and entire offices while "Quidditch" actually involves people breaking a sweat. By our standards, that's scarier than meeting Snape in a dark alley.