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A Talk With Alex Benepe, Founder And Commissioner Of The IQA!

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04/25/2013 11:24 pm
A Talk With Alex Benepe, Founder And Commissioner Of The IQA!
Photo by Monica Donovan

Tanner Schroeder

Senior Editor

Last week was the IQA’s Quidditch World Cup: a wonderful event that allows muggles into the world of Harry Potter. Quidditch has been made into a playable full contact co-ed sport with 135 around the globe. The IQA, or International Quidditch Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to promoting the sport of quidditch and inspiring young people to lead physically active and socially engaged lives. At the Quidditch World Cup we had a chance to talk to Alex Benepe, the Founder and Commissioner of the IQA.  

So how did you get started with Quidditch?

Quidditch started in 2005 in Vermont when I was at Middlebury College and my classmate, Xandar Manshel and some friends were talking about fictional sports and how you try and play them in real life. The conversation got to Quidditch, and he came up with some rules and suggested we actually try playing it, and I was pretty skeptical at first, but we played the first game and I couldn’t believe how awesome it was. I fell in love with the sport and I’ve been working hard to share that love with other people ever since. 

I’m assuming you are a Harry Potter fan. What House do you belong to?

I am a self-proclaimed Gryffindor, but I was sorted into Ravenclaw on Pottermore. (



Who made your fabulous cane?

I did.


This cane is fantastic. 

Who is your favorite team?

I don’t think I’m allowed to have a favorite team, but I do love it when you find teams that love to goof around a lot off the pitch. One team that couldn’t make it here today, they had to cancel last minute, was Green Mountain College. They do some really wild stuff on the pitch. One time I saw them switch into dinosaur mode, where all the players on the field starting screaming like dinosaurs. And then I saw another game where they would purposely miss all their shots. They would break through the defense and run up to do a slam-dunk and then just trip at the last second.

What team jersey do you like the most?

I have say the University of Maryland looks really sharp today. You should check them out.


I have to agree, they do look sharp. Team Photo. 

Have you seen any impressive moves on the pitch? Something that just made you say “damn”?

The most impressive move I’ve seen in Quidditch was from a Chaser who was running up the field with a Quaffle and he was confronted by a Beater holding a Bludger. The Beater was about to whip the Bludger at him and he took the Quaffle and threw it at the Bludger and knocked it out of the Beaters hands. The Quaffle then bounced right back into his hands. Best move I’ve ever seen in Quidditch.

What is the best game you’ve ever seen (so far)?

I have to say some of the most epic games I’ve seen was in Austin at the Lone Star Cup. The southwestern teams have this one snitch, Mason, he can last a really long time on the pitch and is impossible to catch, so a lot of games will go on for an hour, hour and a half sometimes and it is really hot down there in Texas and it just becomes brutal and is exciting to watch.

Who do you think is going to win the cup?

(Laughs) I can’t say that. I do have my guesses, but I will say that I’ve heard many players seen to be in awe of Texas A&M. A lot of people are interested in them, but they were defeated by Baylor in the southwest regional. The great thing about Quidditch is because of the snitch things can be unpredictable and change suddenly. You can have teams pull out a win when they were down and it makes it wonderfully unpredictable.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t being the Head of the IQA?

I am really into art and drawing, so something in design.

What is your favorite position to play?

My favorite position is the snitch. It is so much fun. 


Finally the hardest question of the day. What is your favorite ice cream?

I’m a big fan of dreamsicles and Ben & Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch.

Thank you Alex for taking the time to talk to us. Congrats on running a successful and super fun Quidditch World Cup! 


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