US Quadball National Qualifier Will be at Maidu Regional Park on Feb. 10 to 11Feb 07, 2024 05:14PM ● By Placer Valley Tourism News Release
ROSEVILLE, CA – Quadball, an action-packed and fast-growing sport that evolved from the pages of the Harry Potter fantasy novels, will hold its only West Coast national qualifier Saturday, Feb. 10, and Sunday, Feb. 11, at Maidu Regional Park in Roseville.
More than a dozen teams, from as far away as New Jersey and Wisconsin, will compete in the US Quadball National Qualifier, a two-day tournament that will attract some of the best clubs in the nation and help pave the way to the US Quadball Cup this spring in Texas. US Quadball has held four tournaments in Placer Valley since 2013. The games start at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Quadball, formerly known as Quidditch, combines dodgeball, rugby and tag on a field where athletes must carry a broom (plastic pipe) between their legs, much like the magical wizard in the Harry Potter novels. A volleyball tossed through on-field hoops for scoring, three dodgeballs for hitting opponents and a late-in-the game addition of a yellow flag to be captured from a hard-to-chase official are all part of the fast-paced sport.
"It's got a lot of elements from other sports," said athlete Bryanna McLaughlin, the Arizona State University team president. The defending Division II championship team will participate in the College Division in Roseville. "It's a beautiful, intricate sport. And it's a sport for every gender and body type."
Quadball, founded almost two decades ago at Middlebury University in Vermont, has attracted the attention of athletes looking for an option to the traditional court and field sports – and where individuals of all gender identities compete equally. Quadball is a mixed-gender sport, with no more than four individuals of the same gender identity on the pitch at the same time.
And players, regardless of their gender, face the same challenges, from getting hit by a dodgeball to being tackled.
"There's definitely a physicality to the sport," said Lindsey Simpson, the Lost Boys Quadball Club head captain. The Los Angeles-area based team will compete in the Club Division in Roseville. "It's like Ultimate Frisbee meets rugby, while a game of dodgeball is going on."
For first-time watchers, the fast-moving game can seem "chaotic," said Megan Anderson, Membership and Operations senior director for US Quadball. "But that chaos quickly turns into excitement and fun."
About 225 athletes will participate in the tournament at Maidu Regional Park. They will dine at restaurants and stay in hotels in Placer Valley.
While the economic impact will be less than some other recent events, such as the West Coast Tournament of Champions women's wrestling tournament in December, bringing and introducing a one-of-a-kind sport to the region is also part of the Placer Valley Tourism mission.
"Quadball is such a fun sport to watch, there is so much action and always something going on," said Kim Summers, CEO of Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds. "It's almost like two games are going on at the same time. We love having the opportunity to bring such a unique event and experience to the local community."
The closest team is in the Bay Area. But Quadball is gaining traction, with about 80 teams nationwide and more than 600 teams worldwide.
And 60 teams, with more than 1,000 players, will compete in the US Quadball Cup on April 13 to April 14 in Round Rock, Texas.
"It's an all-grassroot effort," Anderson said of the sport's growth. "There's been a lot of good, organic growth."
Some of that magic likely stems from the connection to the Harry Potter novels and the subsequent blockbuster movies.
"I've always had a pro-Harry Potter mindset," said Simpson, who competed in other sports in high school and came across Quadball while attending Emerson College in Boston. "I was looking to do an intramural sport and once I gave it a shot, it was a good fit. I've been playing the sport ever since."
Admission to the US National Qualifier at Maidu Regional Park is $5 per day in advance and available online at https://givebutter.com/WYKrds, and $10 per day when the tournament starts. Games start at 8 a.m. both days.
Fans should "go in with the expectation of being confused at first but that goes away very fast," said McLaughlin, a high school cheerleader who came across the sport as a freshman at Arizona State University. "It's definitely different and there is a clear level of competitiveness. It all makes for a very unique sport."
The nonprofit Placer Valley Tourism is a Business Improvement District that serves south Placer County and the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln. The Business Improvement District operates to help generate incremental room night stays in hotels within Placer Valley Tourism's geographic footprint through various conferences and youth and amateur sports events. Placer Valley Tourism aims to coordinate community and sports events with the best hospitality options in the region. For more information, visit https://www.placertourism.com/.
@the Grounds is a multipurpose event facility on 61 acres in the heart of Roseville and includes the Roebbelen Center, a 160,000-square-foot event center that can accommodate major amateur sports competitions, large meetings, trade shows, concerts and other events. For more than 80 years, @the Grounds has been the home of the Placer County Fair, an annual celebration of the community's diversity, along with countless other community, family and corporate gatherings. For more information, visit https://www.atthegrounds.com/.