Quidditch Team to Host Tournament


Andrew Plotch

The Middlebury Quidditch team will play host to the Middlebury Classic Quidditch Tournament. Over a dozen teams from the area with ascend onto Battell Beach this Saturday, Oct. 7. Additionally, several commons teams will take part and, yes, there will be a potion demonstration courtesy of the American Chemical Society.


Andrew Plotch ’18 stopped at The Campus’ table at the club fair two weeks ago, but he was not there to sign up. Instead, brimming with excitement, he handed this reporter a poster for the Quidditch tournament coming up on campus and asked for coverage.

This Saturday, Oct. 7, the Middlebury Quidditch team will be hosting the Middlebury Classic Quidditch Tournament on Battell Beach from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., competing against teams from Skidmore, UVM, RPI, Champlain College and a team featuring players from a combination of schools. And, for the first time in years, there is palpable excitement surrounding Quidditch at Middlebury, where the sport was founded in 2005.

“This past year, we decided we wanted to redefine Middlebury Quidditch,” Plotch said. “Last fall, and again in the spring, we voted as a team to rejoin the U.S. Quidditch Association. We’ll be travelling to New York and Boston a few times this fall to play in tournaments and regional competitions. Our team has gone from scrimmaging only on Sundays just a year ago to adding three weekday practices that focus on skills and strategy.”

In addition to the inter-school competition, one team from each commons will compete against each other for the Commons Cup.

This was actually how competitive Quidditch began at Middlebury, as the winner of the Commons Cup went on to compete in the World Cup. Middlebury hosted each of the first three World Cups on Battell Beach, including the largest event in the history of the sport that 21 teams and 2,000 people attended.

Middlebury dominated the Quidditch world in its early existence, winning its fifth consecutive World Cup in 2013, but following that year, the team stopped competing in the U.S. Quidditch Association and the International Quidditch Association. Since then, it has competed unofficially and hosted small tournaments the last two years — until this year.

“At the beginning of every year, clubs are infused with new energy, but this year, Quidditch has an extra special feeling,” said Plotch. “Everyone on the team is excited to take our game to the next level in U.S. Quidditch Association and we are bringing back old Middlebury traditions with this year’s tournament. First-years and seniors alike are working hard, both playing on the pitch and planning with non-profits, to make this a redefining moment for Middlebury Quidditch. In the end, we all agree on one thing: Quidditch is back.”

As the teams battle it out on the Battell Beach pitch, there will be various attractions for the spectators and players alike, if they are not too entranced in the games themselves.

“This year, we are bringing back the magic,” added Plotch. “Quidditch is not just about the game, it’s about the experience, so we’re partnering with organizations to make it magical. The American Chemical Society will be putting on potion demonstrations, MiddAcro will be doing acrobatics, and Addison County Readers is partnering with Page One Literacy to have a Harry Potter read-aloud booth. We also worked with MCAB to bring in bands who will be performing in the afternoon: Shy Shape, The Giant Peach, 10-Inch Personal Pizza and Aiden O’Brien. Of course, food is just as vital — food trucks and vendors are coming to feed everyone.”

Plotch and the Quidditch team originally wanted to return to bring Middlebury back to prominence in the Quidditch community and saw hosting their own large-scale tournament to be a good place to start. They quickly realized the tournament had much larger implications than simply being an opportunity for this small group of the Middlebury community.

“When I started reaching out to local schools, libraries and businesses did I realize how important the Quidditch tournament used to be for the whole community,” Plotch said. “I’ve been calling schools from Colchester to Rutland and everyone is excited. At the end of year, when we talked about our goals for Quidditch we discussed about making it important to the student body and having a competitive team. Now, I understand that we can reinvigorate an energy all over Addison County, that’s my new goal.”

Considering the frenzied look in Plotch’s eyes at the activities fair, over two weeks before the tournament itself, who knows what the atmosphere will be like on Saturday.