woman playing quadball

Professional quadball, a.k.a. Harry Potter quidditch, coming to Toronto this weekend

Toronto’s Major League Quadball (MLQ) team is set to host its home opener in Toronto this weekend. This is no normal sport. It is inspired by the game of quidditch. Yes, that quidditch, from a fairly popular boy wizard series of novels called Harry Potter. And before you ask, no, there is no flying. Yes, there are broom sticks.

In the opening match, the Toronto Raiders will face the Cleveland Riff in a three-game series at Esther Shiner Stadium on Saturday, June 8, from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Quadball, a mixed-gender, full-contact sport, was adapted for real-life play in 2005 by students at Middlebury College in Vermont. It has since grown to include 600 teams in 40 countries.

Founded in 2015, MLQ is considered the equivalent of the NFL or NBA for quadball. The league features 15 teams across the U.S. and Canada, with a regular season running from June to August. The sport combines elements of basketball, rugby, and dodgeball.

People playing the sport of quadball

And, it’s not for the feint of heart. In 2012, Outside magazine wrote an epic exploration into the violent side of the sport.

Toronto’s team, the Raiders, joined the league as an expansion team in 2019 and finished second in the North Division last season, marking their best-ever finish. The team’s performance has improved steadily since cross-border play resumed in 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both the Toronto Raiders and the Cleveland Riff are competing for a spot in the Benepe Cup, the league’s championship trophy named after quadball founder Alex Benepe. The 2024 MLQ Championship will be held in Howard County, Maryland, from August 17-19. The top four teams in each division qualify for the event.

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