Harry Potter comes to life: Quidditch association staging sixth World Cup (+photos)

By Kyle Hightower

Associated Press

Published: Friday, April 12 2013 2:52 p.m. MDT

Silicon Valley Skrewts' Logan Anbinder, center, drives to the goal between the University of Ottawa Quidditch team's Matthew Bunn, right, and Ahmed Al-Slaq during a scrimmage at the Quidditch World Cup in Kissimmee, Fla., Friday, April 12, 2013. Quidditch is a game born within the pages of Harry Potter novels, but in recent years it's become a real-life sport. The game is a co-ed, full contact sport that combines elements of rugby, dodgeball and Olympic handball.

Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Who says "Harry Potter" is just for the pages of books and movies?

Thanks to the brainchild of two college roommates eight years ago, the International Quidditch Association is staging its sixth World Cup event in Kissimmee beginning on Saturday, and bringing 80 worldwide teams to compete in a real-life version of the sport played by characters in the fictional series.

Other than not having the ability to fly on broomsticks, quidditch has grown from a grassroots fringe activity enjoyed by "Harry Potter" fans to one that both novices and diehards alike can enjoy.

Although he embraces the growth, the league's commissioner, Alex Benepe, says he is resisting the urge to take on sponsorships in hopes of keeping the sport's original community spirit intact.

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