The National Quidditch League began as the Northeast Colonial Quidditch Assocation in 1644. The original four teams were the Salem Saints, the Sudbury Snidgets, the New Jersey Nundus, and the Kingston Kelpies. The league expanded for the first time in 1723, adding the Atlanta Aurors. With the addition of the Aurors, the league changed its name to simply the Colonial Quidditch Association. When the United States became a separate nation in 1776, the CQA finally changed its name to the United States National Quidditch League, or the NQL for short.

In 1845, the league added the Chicago Centaurs and the Toledo Terrors. In 1880, the Sudbury Snidgets became first NQL team to move, to San Francisco. They were followed in 1893 by the Kingston Kelpies, who moved to Kansas City.

In 1902, a new league formed known as the American Quidditch Association. The league consisted of four teams: the Detroit Demiguise, the Los Angeles Lethifolds, the Miami Malaclaws, and the Okmulgee Ogres. In 1907, the AQA was absorbed by the NQL, and the teams were split into two conferences, named for the first two Commissioners of the league, Mortimer Jasper and Silas Kensington.

With the addition of the Colorado Chimera to the Kensington Conference in 1934, the league reached its current size of 16, with 8 in each conference. The league continues to grow in popularity every year. Average attendance at NQL matches reached an all-time high of 14,523 last year.

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