Thousands of people will head to an Austin-area city this weekend to watch players get physical and fight over a ball.
No, not for the Longhorns' annual Orange-White spring game, which will also be happening this weekend. These people are coming for the 2019 U.S. Quidditch Cup in Round Rock.
The event — located in the Round Rock Multipurpose Center for the second year in a row — will feature around 1,800 athletes riding their brooms on the field as they play the Harry Potter-inspired sport. The Quidditch Cup describes the mixed-gender sport as having a unique mix of elements from rugby, dodgeball and tag.
“We are excited to be back in Round Rock,” Sarah Woolsey, US Quidditch executive director, said in a press release. “The Round Rock Multipurpose Complex is a gorgeous facility and everyone in the community has been so welcoming and easy to work with.”
Starting on Saturday, more than 80 quidditch teams will compete over the course of two days to be named the national champion — including 60 collegiate teams and 24 community teams. In 2018, the organization said more than 4,000 athletes, fans, officials and volunteers attended the event.
The defending champions in the community division are Austin-based Texas Cavalry, and The University of Rochester Thestrals won last year in the collegiate division. Other Quidditch teams based in the Austin area will also be competing in the event, including Texas Quidditch.
Chad McKenzie, City of Round Rock Sports Management and Tourism Director, said in a press release that the U.S. Quidditch Cup is one of the most highly anticipated and attended events in Round Rock.
“Quidditch is a highly competitive, athletic sport that is so much fun to watch,” McKenzie said in a press release. “We hope the players and fans from all over the U.S. have a great time at the event here again this year and enjoy visiting their favorite Round Rock restaurants, shopping and entertainment areas.”