Virginia is fast becoming a destination for niche sports of all kinds. Sports such as Quidditch, Spikeball, Disc Golf, and FootGolf, to name a few, hosted at the many state-of-the-art venues across the Commonwealth. One thing is for sure, Virginia loves playing niche sports.
Quidditch is the most popular sport among wizards and witches and is quickly becoming very popular with people too. Quidditch is based on the fictional game from the book “Harry Potter” and is a fast-paced 7-on-7 contact sport that was founded in 2005 and is now played in over 39 countries. Mounted on brooms, the players compete against each other with five balls on a field the size of hockey. A quaffle, a volleyball used to score points, three dodgeballs known as bludgers are used to temporarily knock out other players, and a tennis ball called a snitch that must be caught to finish the game.
In July 2019, the Pan American Quidditch Games took place in Glover Park in Henrico County, in which over 100 athletes from North, Central, South America and the Caribbean took part. The Glover Park consists of 4 lighted multi-purpose artificial turf fields, 8 sand volleyball fields and a pavilion with toilets. In addition to Quidditch, the facility hosted soccer, ultimate, lacrosse, volleyball, soccer and more.
Like normal golf in many ways, except for the fact that players use a frisbee disc to negotiate an 18-hole course. The goal of disc golf is to get the least number of strokes from each tee to the hole. The courses are usually very different and consist of many obstacles, which makes the game very challenging.
In 2019, Spotsylvania hosted the United States Women’s Disc Golf Championships on three different courses including Cannon Ridge, Hawk Hollow and Loriella Park. These courses offer a variety of challenges and are highly valued by recreational gamers, professional competitors, and everyone in between. Read this article with 21 Virginia disc golf courses ranging from open golf courses along the coastal plain to arduous elevation changes in the Virginia mountains.
While the Ultimate game has been around for a while, it has recently started to gain traction. What ultimately differs from most sports is the fact that it focuses on self-management regardless of the level of competition. Similar to soccer, the sport requires a high degree of endurance and air skills in soccer. Played between two teams of seven players on a rectangular playing field with each end having an end zone, similar to soccer. The object of the game is to pass the disc to a teammate who is standing or running in the end zone. However, unlike soccer, you cannot walk with the disc in hand, but have to pass it on to another teammate to work the disc on the field towards the opponent’s end zone.
While Ultimate tournaments have been held across Virginia, the Smith River Sports Complex (SRSC) in Martinsville is a recently put on the map for hosting Ultimate tournaments. SRSC last hosted the Oak Creek Invite College Ultimate tournament in 2020. SRSC sits on over 90 acres and has a combination of 6 artificial turf and lawn areas, plus a pavilion with toilets and a concession building. This facility is also used for many different sports such as soccer, lacrosse, soccer and field hockey.
When golf meets soccer, the fast growing sport of FootGolf ends. The object of the game is to get the ball into the 21-inch diameter hole with the fewest number of strokes. FootGolf became an official sport in the United States in 2011. Much like golf, footgolf is a precision sport in which players learn to roll the ball and navigate the varied terrain that each course has.
There are several golf courses in Virginia that already offer foot golf. Most recently, the Winton Farm Golf Course was used as a competition course during the State Games of America 2019. Surrounded by mountains and with a lake on the course, you can expect beautiful landscapes while playing 18 holes of FootGolf.
Spikeball is played in the 2v2 format and is a fast-reacting net sport that is inspired by the concepts of volleyball. During its creation in 1989, the sport was largely dormant until its revival in 2008. The sport is often highlighted on the SportsCenter and House of Highlights social media channels as it tends to produce incredible acrobatic games.
Spikeball hosted its Chesterfield National Championship at the River City Sportsplex in 2019. With 12 artificial turf fields, the 115 hectare complex is one of the largest collections of illuminated artificial turf fields in the country that can host sports such as soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and more. The facility also features a concession booth as well as a merchant village area ideal for large events.
- Your guide to some of Virginia’s best golf courses for 2020
- What’s new in sport?
- Search for venues
Disc Golf, Spikeball, Quidditch, and More: Where to Play Niche Sports in Virginia first appeared on Virginia’s travel blog.