For those who aren’t avid fans of J.K. Rowling’s enormously successful Harry Potter series, the word ‘Quidditch’ may sound like the noise a frog makes when it’s angry. But for an ever-increasing number of college students, however, it is the newest sports craze. A combination of football, dodgeball, soccer and track, Quidditch is no ‘nerd’s’ sport. It is intensely physical and is not for the faint of heart.
Quidditch World Cup
Citizens of New York City may have been rendered speechless when passing by DeWitt Clinton Park last November. Teams from over 40 high schools and colleges assembled in the park for the 2010 Quidditch World Cup, the fourth World Cup since the games real-life creation by students of Middlebury College in 2007. The sport is governed by the International Quidditch Association, which is comprised of over 1000 teams from over thirteen nations. The 2010 World Cup featured over 750 athletes, all running around on brooms, with some even wearing capes, and had thousands of spectators – some familiar with the sport thanks to their favorite series of novels, some merely confused about what on earth all the commotion was about.
What IS Quidditch?
Each Quidditch team has seven players on the field at a time; three Chasers, two Beaters, a Keeper, and a Seeker. The Chasers take a deflated volleyball, called the “Quaffle”, and try to throw or kick it through a hula hoop which is held up by long PVC pipes, earning 10 points for their team. The Keeper tries to prevent opposing chasers from scoring. The Beaters take a dodgeball, called the “Bludger”, and throw it at the other team’s players, to ‘knock them off’ the broom that they must keep between their legs at all times. The game ends when a Seeker retrieves the “Snitch”, a tennis ball inside of a sock that is tucked into the shorts of a neutral player called the Snitch Runner. The Seeker whom recovers the Snitch earns 30 points for his team, and whichever team has the highest total score wins.
Why Is It Becoming So Popular?
With Harvard, Yale, and numerous other schools forming Quidditch teams, the sport is rapidly rising in popularity. The initial appeal is the ability of the sport to give players a feeling of closeness to their favorite fictional wizard, Harry Potter, who was a Seeker for one of Hogwarts’ Quidditch teams. But a lot of players love the fact that it is co-ed, and girls get the chance to get rough with the guys (and vice versa). There is a level of athleticism that is required, but the sport is easy to learn and master with the right level of practice. Despite being a sport popularized by the Harry Potter novels, there is no requirement to read the books if you want to play. Qudditch is quickly becoming coolest new sport hitting thousands of campuses worldwide.