Salem to Host US Quidditch Northwest Regional Championship Tournament

17 Sep, 2015

A little bit of Harry Potter-inspired magic is coming to Salem next year… in the form of a quidditch tournament. Travel Salem is pleased to announce that it has secured the 2016 US Quidditch (USQ) Northwest Regional Championship Tournament, will take place February 6 and 7 at the Capital Futbol Club Soccer Complex in Salem.

The 2016 tournament will be the second regional championship for the Northwest region. (The 2015 event was held in Tukwila, Washington). Fourteen teams - approximately 280 players - from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and British Columbia are expected to compete in the 2016 tournament.

Brian Chung, Travel Salem’s sports and events sales manager, estimates that the cash infusion into the local economy from the tournament will be approximately $58,240.

“We’re really excited to host the USQ Northwest Regional tournament in Salem,” said Chung. “Not only does it mean a spike in business for hotels, shops and restaurants during a time of year when business is typically slower, but hosting an event that is still relatively new to the Northwest is sure to generate positive publicity for Salem and draw plenty of spectators who want to see how the sport is played.”

Inspired by the game featured in the Harry Potter book series, quidditch is a gender integrated, contact sport that mixes elements of rugby, dodgeball and tag. Each team has a chaser that can score goals, a keeper who defends the goal, two beaters who try to “knock out” other players and a seeker who tries to catch the snitch – which consists of a ball attached to a neutral player. Players must carry a broom between their legs at all times.

To be selected to host a regional USQ tournament, a city must be able to provide certain essentials, such as electricity, adequate field space for matches and visitor information services throughout the tournament. “We were impressed with Salem’s facilities, the level of support from the city and the enthusiasm for the sport of quidditch,” said Sarah Woolsey, USQ events director.

The top qualifiers in the Northwest Regional Championship Tournament will move on to compete in the US Quidditch Cup 9 on April 16-17 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Although there is no Salem area team currently registered with US Quidditch, it’s feasible that a team could join the organization and meet the basic requirements in time to compete in the Northwest Regional Tournament in February.

 “We’d love to see a Salem area team form and then play in the regional tournament,” said Woolsey. Membership in US Quidditch is open to teams and individuals in any age group in the United States.

History of US Quidditch: Quidditch got its start in the United States in 2005 at Middlebury College when then-freshman Xander Manshel and his classmates were looking for a variation on their normal Sunday activities. Manshel and his friends laid the foundation for a game that has grown to become a widely respected, physically intense sport. Today, there are more than 4,000 athletes on almost 200 teams nationwide. For more information about quidditch or forming a team, go to www.usquidditch.org.


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