Quidditch is coming to the real world

By: Sara Allen

Many college students are participating in Quidditch. Photo courtesy of Google images

There are many different types of sports, including unusual ones. One of these stranger sports is taking interest on college campuses across the country. Starting in the popular book series by J.K. Rowling, Quidditch is making its way into the real world.

In 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont, Alexander Marshall adapted the rules from Rowling’s books so “muggles” could play. Marshall became the first Quidditch commissioner and founded the International Quidditch Association (IQA). The first intercollegiate match was held on November 11, 2007, when Middlebury College played against Vassar College.

Since there is no Harry Potter magic in the real world, how is “Muggle Quidditch” played? The oval shaped field that the game is played on is 48 x 33 yards at its widest points. The game starts with all seven players lined up on the goal line with their brooms resting on the ground. The referee will ask if both teams are ready and then release the Golden Snitch, which is usually a cross country runner. Once the runner is out of sight the game on the field begins. One of the seven players on each team is the Keeper; they protect the three goal hoops at either end of the field. Of the remaining six players, one is the Seeker. Their job is to catch the runner to end the game. The rest of the team is made up of three Chasers and two Beaters. The Chasers are trying to get control of the Quaffle, the ball used for scoring, and put it through one of the three goal hoops. The Beaters are trying to hit the other team with Bludgers, balls that will temporarily knock a player out of the game if they are hit with one.

While playing, the players are carrying brooms. The brooms must be at least 40 inches long. Tackling is allowed. Since 2005, the IQA has helped over 400 colleges and 300 high schools start playing Quidditch. In the U.S., 45 states have at least one Quidditch team. Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand all have teams in the IQA as well. This past year, the IQA became a registered nonprofit organization. Their goal is to bring Quidditch to children and young adults in hopes of bringing magic to communities.


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