In honor of the last movie installment of the epic Harry Potter series, this week’s Grobby (that's Greatist lingo for hobby) is inspired by the magical sport of wizards: Quidditch. But this fast-flying game isn't just for the magically-blessed among us. Real-life— or "Muggle"— Quidditch has taken off in a big way, with opportunities for landlubbers and broom-riders alike.
I Got 99 Problems, But A Snitch Ain't One — The Need-To-Know
The fastest game on brooms, Quidditch has been the game to play at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for centuries. But don’t Expelliarmus participating in this sport just yet! Thanks to dedicated fans of magic and sports alike, Quidditch has quickly gained momentum as a real-life game. Started in 2005 by an avid fan at Middlebury College, Quidditch for Muggles merges rugby and flag football into one magically active sport. Ever since, athletes around the globe have been feeling fly like it’s Quidditch.
Before chanting “Weasley Is Our King,” know that Quidditch, like other sports, requires some guidelines for players. Real-life Quidditch is generally played on an elliptical field with teams of seven players, brooms between legs and in hand. For points, “quaffles” are thrown through the opposing team’s hoops on either side of the field. Three “chasers” per team play offense to shoot the quaffles while each team's "keeper" act as a goalie. Two “beaters” use paddles to swat “bludgers” (similar to dodgeballs) at opponents; get hit with a bludger and forfeit any balls in hand. Lastly, each team’s “seeker” tries to catch the human version of the golden snitch, the “Snitch Runner.” The Runner— usually the fastest and fittest player on the team— is dressed in yellow with a tennis ball-snitch hanging from their shorts.
Muggle Madness — Your Action Plan
Believe it or not, the game is especially popular at colleges as an intramural or club sport. And soccer fans better step aside, because collegiate Quidditch teams even have their own World Cup thanks to the International Quidditch Association. Muggle Quidditch's highest governing body, the IQA, organizes competitions for both college and community teams.
Ready to grab a broom and go? Quidditch is a contact sport that requires a great deal of running, dodging, and throwing, so prospective superstars should wear mouth guards and prepare for the occasional collision. Getting smacked or jabbed by a broom doesn’t sound like a win either, so have a stable grip on the flying devise to avoid any real accidents.
Whether a Gryffindor or a Slytherin, any player can Huffle-puff their way to Quidditch victory. Take that, Death Eaters!