If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’re among your people. Deanna and I are two of the most epic HP fans you’ll ever meet – 90% of the reason we decided to do Ragnar in Florida is so we could go to Harry Potter World:
If you’re not a Harry Potter fan or don’t know what Quidditch is, it’s really the only sport in the Wizarding World and is played completely by flying on broomsticks (it’s also co-ed). So naturally, when I discovered there’s a real Quidditch World Cup, I had to investigate.
According to www.worldcupquidditch.com:
That’s the starting call of real-life quidditch, and on April 13th, 2013, those words will inaugurate the sixth annual Quidditch World Cup. Players will collide in full-force tackles, bludgers will leave stinging blows that knock athletes off their feet, quaffles will whistle through the goal hoops, while seekers hunt the snitch runner. Thousands of spectators will look on, watching one of the most exciting sports ever invented unfold before them. Come join the crowd and cheer on more than 1,500 athletes from 80 teams around the world, as they all compete for one WORLD CUP.
I’ve come to understand that it’s a combination between rugby, dodgeball and lacrosse. There are three circular goals on each side of the field (or “pitch”) and players use volleyballs as quaffles, dodgeballs as bludgers, but instead of a golden snitch, the snitch is actually a tennis ball stuffed into a sock hanging out the back of the pants of a person (I swear to God I’m not making this up):
The snitch runs off at the beginning of the game and can hide anywhere on the grounds – the bathroom, parking lot, wherever they like. The seekers must look for them, but if they fail to catch them, the snitch runners return after a predetermined period of time. You can read the full rules here, but I think we can all agree that the greatest part of this game is seeing adults running around with brooms between their legs.
If you’re not a Harry Potter fan but are curious as to how Quidditch is played, I’ll give you a quick lowdown:
Positions in Quidditch:
Chasers – There are 3 Chasers in play at a time. They handle the Quaffle and try and put it through one of the 3 hoops on the opposing side. Each score is worth 10 points.
Keepers – There is one Keeper in play at a time. The Keeper guards the three hoops (like a Goalie) and tries to prevent the Quaffle from getting through the hoops.
Beaters – There are 2 Beaters in play at a time. They handle the Bludgers (small, hard balls) and try and knock players off their brooms by aiming to hit them with the Bludgers, using a blunt wooden club.
Seekers – There is one Seeker in play at a time. The Seeker searches for the Golden Snitch, which by capture, ends the game and awards the team 150 points (in Muggle Quidditch, it’s only worth 30 points). Only the capture of the Snitch will end (and usually win) the game. Harry Potter is a Seeker.
I learned that people play Muggle Quidditch all over the world with the goal of making it to the Quidditch World Cup. After reading about the event, I’m slightly disappointed in the food choices. There’s a part of me that really hoped they’d serve more Harry Potter themed foods (as much as I want a slice of Papa John’s pizza while I’m trying to pretend I’m in a magical world).