The 2016 Quidditch World Cup Is Coming Up, and Uganda May Be Its First African Competitor

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Real-life Quidditch exists outside Harry Potter's fictional wizarding world, and the Muggle version even has its own Quidditch World Cup. This year, it will be held in Frankfurt, Germany, from July 23 to 24 and according to the Guardian, it may feature an African team for the first time ever. Thanks to a very successful Indiegogo campaign, Team Uganda has crowdsourced nearly $8,000 of over $17,000 that it needs to get there.

"Up to this point, most international Quidditch teams have been from western countries — Europe and North America," the Indiegogo page reads. "With this campaign, we have a real chance to broaden the spectrum of teams attending the event, attracting more media attention and ushering in a new age of development for the sport."

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The Uganda Cranes originally set their fundraising goal just north of $1,700, surpassing the target amount within the campaign's first day. But as the tournament's director, Matthew Guenzel, told the Guardian, they have a ways to go. "Team Uganda still need so much more support. The flights alone number in the tens of thousands. But we are hopeful."

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The International Quidditch Association runs the World Cup. For non-wizards with non-magic broomsticks, the rules are as follows: As in J.K. Rowling's series, two teams with seven players each face off. A team's keeper, who wears a green headband, guards the three hoops that stand at their end of the field. Three chasers, in white headbands, throw or kick the quaffle — a volleyball — through the opposing team's hoops for 10 points. Two beaters, sporting black headbands, try to hit the other players with bludgers (in this case, kickballs). Anyone they hit has to drop whatever they're holding. 

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The two seekers wear yellow headbands and chase the snitch, a human with a tennis ball in a sock hanging off their waistband. The snitch is unleashed 18 minutes after start time and once caught (for 30 points), ends the game. Two students at Middlebury College in Vermont devised Muggle Quidditch in 2005. The first Global Games took place in 2012.

Read more: College Student Recreates the Weasleys' Wizardly Clock, Proving Muggles Can Do Magic, Too