Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Quidditch Returns to Vidcon

by Calvin Ng

For the third year in a row, the city of Anaheim will welcome not only the largest YouTube convention in North America, but also representatives of our beloved sport. About 20 players from up and down the west coast will converge on the Anaheim Convention Centre in California when VidCon takes over the premises from July 23 - 25 to give attendees a taste of quidditch at its most basic level.

While quidditch was part of the official programming this year and last, Vidcon quidditch found its roots in an event USQ has close ties to - LeakyCon (currently rebranded as "GeekyCon").

Calvin Ng and Julia Zatyko are the organizers of the demonstrations at VidCon. Ng started out as a convention volunteer for USQ. After his first LeakyCon event, Ng realized that VidCon was not part of the league’s summer con tour. He put out a call on Facebook and Zatyko jumped at the chance to help.

The duo assembled a modest group from the Southern California area (including University of California Los Angeles, Long Beach Funky Quaffles, and La Serna players) to introduce attendees to the sport. Due to the limited time between the start of the event planning and VidCon, however, they were forced to hold the demo outside the VidCon premises at a City of Anaheim park, thus distancing themselves from the convention centre and missing out on their main goal: to introduce the sport to new people.

The first year, though unofficial, gave Ng the fuel and determination to be a larger part of VidCon. Though there is little to no link between quidditch and YouTube, Ng was certain that attendees would jump at the opportunity to participate in an activity they might have only heard in passing.

This culminated in the summer of 2014, when quidditch was played on-site for the first time as part of VidCon. Held in a large room, Ng and his team taught quidditch, albeit using high school rules, to a crowd with a wide range of experience. Some had played before and knew the sport well. Others had only a vague idea of quidditch through the Harry Potter universe, while some individuals had never heard of the real-life version sport. They played inside with high end equipment on a shortened field in order to give those who wanted to participate a chance to learn the rules without running across a full length field.

Photo Courtesy of Justin Ryan Madriaga

Quidditch at VidCon allows individuals from around the world to experience and learn about the sport in a safe, non-competitive, and non-stressful environment. Anyone with a VidCon pass will be able to participate in the demos during the hours that the expo hall is open.

Anyone who is interested in helping with the 2016 event can join this Facebook group:

For more info about VidCon, please visit:

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