Spotlight on Quidditch


Quidditch or “muggle quidditch” is a sport that was born in Vermont in 2005. It was inspired by Harry Potter and developed into a real-life sport by Middlebury College students Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe. This once-fictional sport is now played in more than 40 countries. Quidditch is a full-contact sport, and the teams and association try to stay as true to the original Harry Potter competition as they possibly can. Matches are played on a rectangular 55 x 33 meters field or “pitch” with three hoops (goals) of different heights at each side. There are 21 participants in each team's roster, but only seven are playing at the same time. Of the seven players, three are Chasers, two are Beaters, one is the Keeper, and another one is the Seeker (who is off-field). There are three different balls that they play with, the Quaffle (volleyball), two Bludgers (dodgeballs), and the Snitch (tennis ball). Each of the players play with a broom between their legs at all times. Quidditch also has what they call the “four maximum” rule, which states that there may be no more than four players of the same gender on the field at the same time.   

The goal of this game is to score more points than the opposing team by the time the snitch —which is kept by an impartial official dressed in yellow (they keep it inside a sock, hanging from their shorts), is caught. To score points, the keepers and chasers must get the quaffle into one of the three opposing hoops. If they succeed, they earn 10 points. The chasers, keepers, and beaters of the opposing team will try to stop the other team from scoring by tackling and by using the bludgers (dodgeballs) to take them out. If a player is taken out, that player must dismount their broom, drop any ball they may be holding, and go touch their three hoops before being allowed back in the game. The game ends once the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, which earns them 30 points. In a nutshell, Chasers are responsible for passing the quaffle and scoring points. Keepers are like goalies as they try to block the opposing team's chasers. Beaters are in charge of taking out the opposing team's players with bludgers, and Seekers attempt to catch the snitch. The seeker of each team is off-pitch, but may enter the game after 18 minutes. Quidditch games normally last between 30 to 40 minutes.   

The International Quidditch Association, originally founded as a nonprofit in 2010, focused on competitions and events solely in the United States, so as the sport became more popular, they had to evolve and grow in order to be able to represent players of different countries and become an actual international association. It was in 2014 when that was finally possible, and since then, the IQA has been ensuring that representation and development of quidditch are equitable and fair in all corners of the world. 

Photo: Sergei Bachlatov and Shutterstock

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