Whoever said only the likes of Harry Potter can play Quidditch?
Okay, granted we can’t all whiz around on trusty bewitched broomsticks as the witches and wizards do.
On the bright side, if your broomstick snaps on the field, you won’t be hurtling 200 feet down – that’s the beauty of being a muggle, I suppose.
Heads up, Muggle Quidditch has finally come to the field, brought into being by students at Middlebury College of Vermont in 2005.
Among the multitudes of Potterheads around the world, it’s no surprise this fantasy game has begun to take off (pun intended) from its humble beginnings on a school field.
A thrilling, strategy-infused amalgamation of basketball and rugby, with elements of dodgeball and hockey thrown in the mix, Quidditch is truly a game for all.
When it comes to rules, muggle Quidditch founder, Xander Manshel, the then-student of Middlebury College, has kept the game as close to Rowling’s original from the Harry Potter series. Except, gravity applies so all players have their feet on the ground sans the spellwork.
The first ever Quidditch World Cup was held in 2007 between Middlebury and Vassar Colleges and the second saw 12 participating teams (including the University of Washington and the first international team of Canadian McGill University) as the sport rapidly gained ground.
By the fourth World Cup in Manhattan, there were 46 teams competing with 15000 spectators and over 40 media outlets covering the event.
As 2013 saw Quidditch become a televised sporting event in the US for the first time, there is no denying the burgeoning popularity of the sport.
As was played by Harry Potter and his friends, the team consists of three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and one seeker. An additional external player, required due to the absence of magic, is the snitch-runner, who is not a member of either side.
Unsurprisingly, all players except the snitch-runner move around with brooms between legs.
The chasers move the Quaffle (a volleyball) down the field by running or passing it among each other and throwing or kicking it through the goal hoops (defended by the keeper) to earn 10 points.
Bludgers (dodgeballs) are chucked by the beaters at the opponent’s players to temporarily give them a time-out.
The snitch-runner has the Snitch (a tennis ball in a sock) at the back of his shorts. The seekers attempt to take the Snitch, after which the corresponding team receives 30 points and the game ends. The team with the most points at this point wins!
Admittedly, it is truly a baffling, chaotic game to onlookers seeing Quidditch players in action for the very first time. For Potterheads though, it is a dream come alive to see Quidditch played in real life upon broomsticks – albeit not mid-air unfortunately for us Muggle folk.