Real life Quidditch player (Picture: Anton Bielousov)
Quidditch /ˈkwɪdɪtʃ/ is a competitive sport in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, featured in the series of novels and movies. Matches are played between two teams of seven players riding flying broomsticks, using four balls: a Quaffle, two Bludgers, and a Golden Snitch. Six ring-shaped goals are situated atop poles of different heights, three on each side of the pitch. It is an extremely rough but very popular semi-contact sport, played by wizards and witches. In the Wizarding World of the Harry Potter universe, Quidditch has a fervent fan following.
Well, that’s what Wikipedia says about Quidditch. But the new reality is somewhat different. Last week the Quidditch Premier League was launched in the UK, making it available to us Muggles too.
QPL say they were inspired by the success of Major League Quidditch in the United States (yep, apparantly that's a thing too). The QPL is the brainchild of Jack Lennard, who learned how to play the sport at university and now wants Quidditch to be bigger than ever. According to NME he’s even got a plan to curb corruption in the league.
Most of the UK’s 750 Quidditch players are based in Universities, where most of the teams are based.
“We intend to be the focus of domestic Quidditch during the summer months, and to provide a spectacle for those new and old to the sport alike” said a QPL spokesperson.
Durham University will host to the Northern Quidditch Cup later this month and the university's team has been training hard ahead of the tournament.
Quidditch UK's president, Mel Piper, said: "The Northern Cup is the first big event of the season for northern teams in the UK, and the first time that regionals will act as qualifiers for the national championship.
"This year the North is the biggest region in the UK, and the competition is tougher than ever."
A Quidditch team consists of 21 people with seven players per team on the field at any one time. Each player has a broom between his or her legs. The four maximum rule of Quidditch says that at most there can be four players of the same gender on pitch at one time. This ensures that the game is mixed gender and inclusive to all.
Players can be one of four positions: A team of seven will have one keeper, three chasers, two beaters and one seeker.
-Keepers - Guard the hoops from opposing chasers and become a fourth chaser on offense.
-Chasers - Throw the quaffle through the opposite team's hoops to score goals worth 10 points.
-Beaters - Throw bludgers at the opposing team to 'knock them out' and make them return to hoops.
-Seekers - Catch the snitch (worth 30 points) to end the game.
A game of quidditch involves three types of balls: The quaffle - a semi-deflated volleyball thrown through the hoops by chasers and keepers.
Bludgers - dodgeballs thrown at other players by beaters. There are three bludgers on the pitch.
And most importantly the snitch - a sock with a tennis ball in it, attached to the snitch runner's shorts which when caught by either team's seeker, the game ends.
In the Spectrum Sino newsroom the biggest question was where do they get the brooms? There are actually specialist suppliers out there who just produce brooms for Quidditch…
A specialist Quidditch broom supplier.