Quidditch (sport)

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This article is about the internationally played mixed-gender contact sport. For the fictional sport played in Harry Potter, see Quidditch.
Quidditch
Muggle Quidditch.jpg
A chaser tries to advance the quaffle but is deterred by an opposing beater.
Highest governing body International Quidditch Association [1]
First played 2005 in Middlebury, Vermont
Characteristics
Contact Full contact[1]
Team members 7 on field, 21 total on roster
Both teams can substitute players freely at any time behind their proper keeper zone.
Mixed gender Yes
Type Team sport, ball sport
Equipment Quaffle (volleyball)
Bludgers (dodgeballs)
Snitch (tennis ball)
Brooms
Hoops
Venue Quidditch pitch (also known simply as a "pitch")
Presence
Country or region IQA World Map.svg
Olympic No
Paralympic No
Quidditch game

Quidditch[2] is a sport of two teams of seven players each mounted on broomsticks played on a hockey rink-sized pitch, based on a game invented by J.K. Rowling in her fictional series, Harry Potter.[3] The pitch is rectangular with rounded corners 55 metres (60 yards) by 33 metres (36 yards) with three hoops of varying heights at either end.[4]The sport was created in 2005 and is therefore still quite young. However, quidditch is played around the world and actively growing.[5] The ultimate goal is to have more points than the other team by the time the snitch, a tennis ball inside a long sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official dressed in yellow, is caught. Rules of the sport are governed by the International Quidditch Association, or the IQA, and events are sanctioned by either the IQA or that nation's governing body.

To score points, chasers or keepers must get the quaffle, a slightly deflated volleyball, into one of three of the opposing hoops which scores the team 10 points.[6] To impede the quaffle from advancing down the pitch, chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing chasers and keepers at the same time as beaters using their bludgers to take out opposing players. Once a player is hit by an opposing bludger, that player must dismount their broom, drop any ball being held, and return to and touch their hoops before being allowed back into play.[7] The game is ended once the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, awarding that team 30 points.[8]

A team consists of minimum seven (maximum 21) players, of which six are always on the pitch, those being the three chasers, one keeper, and two beaters. Besides the seeker who is off-pitch, the six players are required to abide by the gender rule, which states that a team may have a maximum of four players who identify as the same gender, excluding the seeker,[9] making quidditch one of the few sports that not only offers a co-ed environment but an open community to those who do not identify with the gender binary.[10] Matches or games often run about 30 to 40 minutes but tend to be subject to varying lengths of time due to the unpredictable nature of the snitch catch. If the score at the end of the match including the 30 point snitch catch is tied (such that the team that caught the snitch was 30 points behind the other), the game moves to overtime where the snitch is constrained to the pitch's dimensions and the game ends after five minutes or when the snitch is legally caught

History[edit]

Quidditch has its roots in the fictional Harry Potter sport of the same name. To denote the difference, the fictional sport uses the capitalised "Quidditch" whereas the sport played as per the IQA rules uses the uncapitalised "quidditch". The sport was created in 2005 at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, by Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe, who later became the first commissioner of quidditch.[3] It has grown into its own separate and distinct sport after nine[4] publications of rulebooks.[5]

After beginning in 2005, the sport grew to the point where, in 2007, the first "IQA World Cup" took place with Middlebury taking the place of top team. Since then, yearly until 2014, there was a "World Cup" within the United States, where collegiate and community teams would compete to be the best team. While Canada often sent several Ontario or Québec teams, and Australia and France each sent one team once, the World Cup in its state never saw true international competition. In 2012, the IQA hosted the Summer Games, where five nations hosted national teams. Two years later, on July 19, 2014, the IQA hosted the Global Games in Burnaby, BC, Canada, where national teams came together to compete, with the States defeating Australia for the gold medal.[6]

Since beginning at Middlebury College, the sport has its roots in the United States, but it soon grew internationally, arriving in Canada through McGill University and Carleton University in 2009. It began to take shape around the world with teams beginning in Australia,[7] the UK,[8] and France.[9] It soon spread across Europe and the Americas, arriving in Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Mexico, Argentina,[10] and Brazil. There are now active teams in Malaysia, China, South Africa, Uganda, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Play[edit]

Each match begins with six of the starting players (excluding the seekers) along the starting line within their keeper zone with brooms on the ground and the four balls lined in the centre of the pitch. The head referee then calls "brooms up!" at which players run to gain possession of the balls.[25] After brooms up is called, the seekers must not interfere with other positions, and wait near the pitch until the end of the seeker floor, usually 18 minutes. The snitch goes on the field at 17 minutes, and the seekers are released at 18 minutes.[26]

Play runs rapidly, with quick change-of-hands of the quaffle, because every goal (each being worth 10 points) scored against a team gives that team the ball. Once a point is scored, the quaffle must be given to the other team's keeper, and almost immediately returns to the offensive[27] with the chasers returning to their keeper zone or proper side of the pitch;[28] beaters are not bound to return to their side of the pitch nor exit the opposing team's keeper zone at any point.[29] Games can last any length of time longer than 18 minutes, depending on the skill and endurance of the seekers and snitch.

In the new iteration of Rulebook10, handicaps are now required. If the snitch has not been caught after twenty-three minutes of game play. Handicaps are issued and are cumulative, the snitch runner must keep them until the game has ended. Upon the release of the seekers, the snitch runner is must remain between the two keeper zones. The First handicap is called at the twenty-three minute mark and the snitch must remain within 1.5 yards of mid-pitch. If the snitch has not been caught, the second handicap will be called after twenty-eight minutes of play. During this time the snitch runner must keep one arm behind their back at all times. During this time the snitch is more vulnerable and has a higher probability of being caught. However, in the case that the snitch is not caught the third and final handicap is called after thirty-three minutes of game play. During this handicap the Snitch Runner must remain 1.5 yards of the intersection of mid-pitch and the sideline opposite of the scorekeeper and benches.

The game ends after the snitch has been caught through what is called by a clean catch. The catch is determined by the Snitch Referee, The Head Referee, and the Snitch Runner. The team that caught the snitch is awarded 30 points, regardless if they are winning or losing the game.[30] The winner is determined not by the snitch catch but by the number of points earned throughout the entirety of the game play. Depending on the score teams will delay the snitch catch in order to better their chances of winning. Teams that are losing will defend the snitch by placing themselves between the Snitch Runner and the opposing seeker.

Positions in quidditch[edit]

  • Chasers are responsible for passing the quaffle and scoring points by throwing the quaffle through one of the opponent's goals for 10 points. When a bludger hits a chaser in possession of the quaffle, they must drop the quaffle, remove the broom from between their legs, and touch their own hoops to rejoin play. Chasers not in possession of the quaffle must perform the same knockout procedure when hit by a bludger, but do not have a ball to drop. Chasers may enter into physical contact with opposing chasers or keepers. There are three chasers on the field for each team, identified by a white headband.
  • Keepers can be likened to goalies in other sports, and must try to block attempts to score by the opposing team's chasers. The keeper is invulnerable to bludgers as well as having indisputable possession of the quaffle when within their team's keeper zone, an area around the team's hoops. Once outside of the keeper zone, the keeper may serve as a fourth chaser. Keepers may enter into physical contact with opposing keepers or chasers. There is one keeper on the field for each team, identified by a green headband.
  • Beaters attempt to hit the opposing team's players with bludgers and attempt to block the bludgers from hitting their team's players. Beaters are subject to the same knockout procedure as chasers or keepers when hit with a bludger, but unlike chasers and keepers, they may attempt to catch a bludger thrown at them. If they succeed in catching a bludger, they are not knocked out, and the beater who threw the bludger may remain in play. As there are three bludgers for the four beaters on the pitch, the fourth, bludger-less beater puts pressure on the team in control of both bludgers (often called "bludger control" or "bludger supremacy"). Beaters may enter into physical contact only with other beaters. Two beaters on a team may be in play at a time, identified by black headbands.
  • Seekers attempt to catch the snitch. They may not contact the snitch, but are permitted to contact the other seeker. Seekers are released after 18 minutes of game time. There is one seeker on the field for each team, identified by a gold or yellow headband.

Equipment[edit]

The game is played with six standing hoops, three on each side of an elliptical pitch. Each player must hold a broomstick between their legs. There are three different types of balls in play, and five in total: the quaffle, three bludgers, and the snitch.

One quaffle and three bludgers lined up for "brooms up" before a quidditch match

Broomstick[edit]

Probably the most iconic piece of equipment for quidditch, the broomstick serves the purpose of being a "handicap" such as one-handed dribbling in basketball or using only your feet in association football. The player must stay mounted on their broomstick for every moment of play unless they have been hit with a bludger, in which case the player needs to dismount from their broom and return to their hoops.[11] To be mounted on the broomstick means that the player must hold the broom between their legs and not have it fully on the ground. It can be supported by their thighs or hands equally, just as long as it is not attached to their person nor fully resting on the ground. Because of it being a handicap, sometimes players do not play with the brooms.

Players ride a variety of objects considered to be brooms depending on level of seriousness. Many teams tend to play on PVC pipes of about a metre in length; these are usually made, but can also be purchased from quidditch suppliers such as Petersons or Blue Hawk. Less serious players or players who enjoy the whimsy of the sport often use Alivan's Shadow Chasers, which are wooden and have a tail to resemble brooms described in the Harry Potter books and movies. Oftentimes, newly formed teams tell players to BYOB (bring your own broom), which results in players coming on an assortment of camp and/or dangerous "brooms", from Swiffers to 2x4 pieces of wood, though this practice is discouraged beyond the first few practices.

Hoops[edit]

Three hoops are placed on either side of the pitch of differing heights (0.91m, 1.37m and 1.83m), placed two broomsticks apart (2.34 m).[12] Chasers and keepers can score by throwing the quaffle through any one of the hoops, from either front or back, gaining ten points for their team per score. Any player experiencing a knock-out effect from either dismounting their broomstick or getting hit with a bludger must touch with any part of their body excluding the broom any one of their hoops before returning to play.

Quaffle[edit]

The quaffle is a slightly-deflated regulation volleyball that can only be manipulated by chasers or keepers. Used for scoring, it may pass through any hoop from either side. Regardless of which team caused the quaffle to pass through the hoop, as long as it is in play, a goal is scored against the team whose hoop was scored upon, which is counted to be 10 points.[13]

Bludgers[edit]

The bludger is a slightly-deflated dodgeball that can only be manipulated by beaters. At any given time there are four beaters in play, but only three bludgers. The bludgers are used to hit any other player on the field. Upon being hit by a bludger previously in the possession of an opposing beater, the player suffers the knockout effect. This means they must dismount their broom, drop any ball that they may have been carrying, and touch their team's hoops before resuming play. It's worth noting that there is no friendly fire, meaning that bludgers thrown by beaters cannot affect any of their teammates.[13]

Snitch[edit]

Seeker (l) and Snitch (r) at King's Cup Quidditch Tournament, Syracuse University, April 2015.[14]

The snitch is a tennis ball placed at the bottom of a yellow long sock which is attached to the back of the snitch runner's shorts as if it were a tail. The snitch runner may do everything in their power to protect the snitch from being caught by seekers. Only seekers may make advances towards the snitch or the snitch runner, and no forceful contact with the snitch runner is allowed. After a certain amount of the time without having been caught, the snitch runner is relegated to the first of two handicaps: playing with one arm held behind their back. The second handicap is applied if the snitch is still not caught after a secondary amount of time where the snitch runner must hold both hands behind their back. The game ends when the snitch is grabbed by a seeker, awarding that seeker's team 30 points.[13]

As of the release of the Rulebook 8, the snitch is relegated to playing only on the field in the same fashion of the other players. Previously, snitch runners left the pitch to be pursued by seekers returning to the field after a predetermined amount of time. The term off-pitch seeking is applied to the pre-Rulebook 8 scenario. Many countries play using the eighth edition's rules all the while keeping the seventh edition's off-pitch seeking rules.

Rules[edit]

The IQA has released ten iterations of the Rulebook, each building upon the last. Currently, Rulebook 8 is available in French, and there are translations until Rulebook 5 in Italian, Mandarin, and Spanish.

Playing[edit]

Each match begins with six of the starting players (excluding the seekers) along the starting line within their keeper zone with brooms on the ground and the four balls lined in the centre of the pitch. The head referee then calls "brooms up!" at which players run to gain possession of the balls.[15] After brooms up is called, the seekers must not interfere with other positions, and wait near the pitch until the end of the seeker floor, usually 18 minutes. The snitch goes on the field at 17 minutes, and the seekers are released at 18 minutes.[16]

Play runs rapidly, with quick change-of-hands of the quaffle, because every goal (each being worth 10 points) scored against a team gives that team the ball. Once a point is scored, the quaffle must be given to the other team's keeper, and almost immediately returns to the offensive[17] with the chasers returning to their keeper zone or proper side of the pitch;[18] beaters are not bound to return to their side of the pitch nor exit the opposing team's keeper zone at any point.[19] Games can last any length of time longer than 18 minutes, depending on the skill and endurance of the seekers and snitch. Many tournaments introduce snitch handicaps, such as asking the snitch to use only one hand, no hands, or remain on the centre line, to ensure games fit within reasonable time slots.

The game is won only after the snitch has been caught cleanly, and the team that caught the snitch is awarded 30 points.[20] The winner is determined not by the snitch catch but by the number of points earned; thus it is not unknown for teams that are losing by a wide margin to try delaying a snitch catch so that they can narrow the opponents' lead, along with the reverse, with the winning team trying to extend their lead.

Fouls and illegal plays[edit]

Depending on the severity of the foul, a player found committing an illegal play will resort in a blue, yellow, and/or a red card. Cards are issued upon the discretion of the Head Referee. If need be the Head Referee may consult with their AR's (Assistant Referees) to determine which card should be given to the offending player.

When a blue card is issued, it is considered to be a non-stacking yellow card, and can either result in being sent back to hoops or spend one minute in the penalty box. When a yellow card is issued the player must sit in the penalty box for one minute. If the opposing team scores before the minute is up then the player will be allowed to return to the game. He or she is still considered off broom and must tag their teams hoops in order to resume play. If a player receives two yellow cards, then the card will become red. If a player receives a red card, that player must sit in the penalty box for two minutes.

When a red card is given that player must sub out for another player, that player will then serve two minutes within the penalty box. If a Keeper has been given a red card, he or she must give their headband to another chaser on their team, both teams are required to have a keeper on the pitch at all times.

Contact rules are fairly straightforward and are similar to other contact sports. Tackles are legal between the knees and shoulders. A player may not initiate a tackle with two hands. All tackles must be initiated from the front side of the opposing player. Any back tackles made will result in a yellow card, however, if the player turns their back into the tackle, it is not considered illegal. Players can only tackle other players of their same position (with keepers considered chasers) if they have the ball. Pushes are allowed if the arm is held straight; it is illegal to push if the arm is bent and then extended when pushing another player.[31] Players are not allowed to dive for balls, trip opposing players, or initiate contact around the neck. If a player is found making any of these offenses it will result in a card depending on the severity of the offense.

After several various types of illegal play, the head referee will blow their whistle twice to indicate stoppage of play, in which every player must drop in place their broom and any ball they were holding.[33]

The snitch, however, only has a few explicit restrictions such as climbing trees and buildings. However many snitch rules may soon become void, as some leagues are removing off-pitch seeking from their official game play.

Pitch[edit]

The quidditch pitch is marked with lines or a series of cones, but it is not binding to players,[21] meaning players can continue play outside the boundaries, but not within the spectator zone (a rectangle of 44 x 77m around the pitch).[22] Balls are not allowed to be kicked off the pitch under penalty, nor is play allowed in the spectator zones. Players are asked to return to the pitch when play continues out of bounds.

On the edge of the pitch are two penalty boxes where players who have committed fouls that warrant yellow cards are sent for one minute.[23]

Officials[edit]

Each official game requires having several referees present as well as an official snitch. The referees are the head ref whose job is to control the field and administer fouls and yellow or red cards to offending players, assistant refs who assist the head referee in watching for illegal plays, the snitch ref who follows the snitch once they enter the field and determine whether or not the catch was clean, and the goal refs whose job is to determine whether the quaffle went through the hoop.[24] Assistant refs are oftentimes called bludger or beater refs, and their job is to call "beat" (or, in French, "touché") when the beat was clean (meaning hit the opposing player), to help determine whether a goal was scored based on the beat and assist with making calls concerning illegal action or give verbal warnings to players. Assistant referees are also able to communicate to the head ref for a stoppage of play if witness to an action that would result in a yellow card. Snitch refs, whilst the snitch is off field, act as an additional bludger ref.

The snitch runner, being a neutral player and assistant referee, may help the referees to determine whether or not the catch was clean.[24]

Rulebook 8[edit]

The release of Rulebook 8 coincided partially with the reformation of the IQA. As USQ released the rulebook, the IQA chose to adopt the eighth iteration as the de facto international standard where the proceeding rulebook will be released under the guise of the IQA. The changes from the Rulebook 7 to Rulebook 8 were minimal except in two areas: blue cards and snitching.

A technical foul results in a blue card on a player where that player must substitute with another player of the same position. The substitution does not, however, result in a power play for the other team, and play is not stopped when this card is rendered. A play may accrue an unlimited amount of technical fouls during a match.[25]

Snitching also changed in Rulebook 8 resulting in the deletion of off-pitch seeking. Where before, the snitch would be "released" before each match by running off the pitch during a set amount of time, now the snitch is released to the field, limited to the playing area, at 17 minutes (the seekers being released at 18 minutes). Many NGBs choose to continue playing under Rulebook 7 rules.[25]

International Quidditch Association[edit]

The International Quidditch Association serves as the central governing body for quidditch worldwide and helps to coordinate with national associations around the world through the IQA Congress. Previously, The IQA held a World Cup for qualifying members of the association at the end of every season, the first being held in 2007, ending in 2014 with its restructuring.[26] Now, the only tournament the IQA oversees is the international Global Games.

World Map of quidditch activity. Dark blue indicates full member, lighter blue indicates developing member and the lightest blue indicates emerging areas.

National governing bodies[edit]

Each nation in which quidditch is played has or is in the process of developing a national organisation. The job of the national organisation is to organise quidditch within the country, create membership policies for teams, organize referees, snitches, and coaches and be the bridge between that nation's teams and the IQA. Currently, the active national associations are:

Competitions[edit]

International tournaments[edit]

IQA World Cup[edit]

Main article: IQA World Cup

Previously known as the Global Games and Summer Games, the World Cup is the IQA's tournament for national teams. Any quidditch-playing nation is offered the chance at competing on the world level at this tournament. The latest iteration was held in Frankfurt, Germany in 2016. Australia won, handing the USA their first ever loss in the grand final. The 2014 competition was held in Burnaby, BC, Canada in July 2014 where it saw the US taking first with Australia coming in with a close second. The Games, hosted by US Quidditch, attracted limited media presence and saw a small gathering of spectators. The results were, in order: United States, Australia, Canada, UK, Mexico, France, Belgium.

The original World Cup was titled "Summer Games" to match the Olympics being held in London, UK. July 2012 saw 5 national teams from around the world compete in this first international tournament run by the IQA, taking place in University Parks, Oxford, England. The five teams were from the USA, Canada, France, UK, and Australia.[27]

European Games[edit]

Similar to the Global Games, the European Games is an international tournament open to national teams. Inclusion within the European Games is limited to members of the European Committee (also known as Quidditch Europe or QEurope). The first European Games were held in Sarteano, Italy from 24 July to 27 July 2015.[28]

Asian Quidditch Cup[edit]

The inaugural Asian Quidditch Cup took place on the 30th and 31 July 2016 in Malaysia. They will be held again in 2017 then biennially to match the World Cup/Regional tournament alternations. The teams that competed at the inaugural Asian Quidditch Cup were the Australian National University Owls (ANU), Damansara Dementors, and Subang Chimaeras. The ANU Owls emerged champions.

Semi-Pro Leagues[edit]

Major League Quidditch[edit]

Major League Quidditch, commonly referred to as MLQ, was founded in 2015 as the sport's first exclusive league, with the goal of presenting quidditch in an elegant, highly-consumable form that mirrors other sports’ top leagues. MLQ features standardized schedules, high-level officiating, in-depth statistics and live or previously recorded footage of all games. The league included eight teams across the United States and Canada for its inaugural season in the summer of 2015, and expanded to 16 teams, composing four divisions, for its second season in the summer of 2016.

Quidditch Premier League[edit]

Beginning in 2017, the Quidditch Premier League (QPL) is a semi-pro league in the United Kingdom[29] that is split into two divisions and eight teams.[30]

South Division:

  • The London Monarchs – after the residing Royal Family in the capital
  • The Southwest Broadside – after the seafaring and piratical history in the area
  • The Southeast Knights – after the legacy of the Battle of Hastings
  • The Eastern Mermaids – after the many ‘drowned cities’ off the eastern coast

North Division:

  • The Northern Watch – after the iconic Hadrian’s Wall
  • The Yorkshire Roses – after the region’s famous symbol
  • The East Midlands Archers – after the legend of Robin Hood
  • The West Midlands Revolution – after the heritage of the Industrial Revolution

Regional or league tournaments[edit]

European Quidditch Cup[edit]

The European Quidditch Cup, also known as EQC and formerly known as the European Quidditch Championship,[31] is a yearly championship tournament for teams in Europe. The 2014–2015 season will see its third iteration which is set to be held in Oxford, UK on 18–19 April 2015.[32] EQC began first in France in Lesparre-Médoc on 13 October 2012 where a minimal amount of teams attended during the 2012–2013 season due to the fact that quidditch was only recently introduced to Europe.[33] In the 2013–2014 season, however, with EQC II, Brussels and the Belgian Quidditch Federation hosted the tournament on 1–2 February. Twelve teams from a variety of countries attended, with Radcliffe Chimeras coming in first and Paris Phénix and the Belgian Qwaffles taking second and third place, respectively.[34]

Canadian Nationals[edit]

Canadian Nationals is the national championship tournament for Quidditch Canada.[35] The 2014–2015 national championship were held in Burnaby, BC on 28 March 2015. Its precursors, East and West Regionals, were held in Kingston, ON and Moose Jaw, SK on 1 February and 7 February 2015, respectively.[36]

QUAFL[edit]

Yearly, the Australian Quidditch Association hosts QUAFL, an all-Australian championship that determines which Australian team is the best. The first tournament was held in December 2011 at UNSW, Sydney and won by the hosts. The second tournament was hosted by Macquarie University and was won again by the UNSW Snapes on a plane. The tournament in 2013 was held at the University of Western Sydney on 30 November and 1 December. The winning team was the Perth Phoenixes. The third place team, University of Sydney Unspeakables, decided to travel to the US to participate in the last ever IQA World Cup. Melbourne Manticores defeated UNSW Snapes On A Plane in the 2014 tournament final held at Macquarie University. The same teams would make the 2015 tournament final, held at Monash University, where the Manticores would once again emerge triumphant.

USQ Championships[edit]

Also known as the USQ World Cup, the championship tournament within US Quidditch will be held for the first time in April 2015. There, qualifying teams from regional championships will compete to see which team is the best in the US. USQ membership policy dictates that any team outside the US will be eligible to compete in this and any other USQ tournament as long as they pay the membership fees in full, but, to date, only two teams outside the US have registered as such: University of British Columbia's A and B teams. The first US Quidditch Cup champion, since the forming of a separate USQ nationals, was Quidditch Club Boston (QCB) in 2016.

The regions within USQ are:[37]

Northeast
Great Lakes
Midwest
Mid-Atlantic
West
South
Southwest
Northwest
IQA World Cup (old)[edit]

The IQA World Cup is the former "world" championships of quidditch which was held yearly in the United States. As it was maintained by the former IQA, it was almost a purely US-based tournament, seeing little turnout from teams outside of the country. This tournament was discontinued in 2014 when the IQA took on its new role as international sports federation, choosing instead to host then-Global Games now-World Cup as a world championship with individual teams relying on their national governing body for a culminating tournament.

British Tournaments[edit]

The British Quidditch Cup was held in Oxford, England, on the 9th and 10 November 2013, and was won by the Oxford University's first team, The Radcliffe Chimeras.[38] The BQC was repeated on the weekend of the 7th March 2015 held in Wollaton Park, Nottingham. At this tournament the defending Champions, The Radcliffe Chimeras, were defeated in the final by Southampton Quidditch Club 1, with Keele Squirrels coming third. In total 24 teams were registered to compete with 23 doing so.

Also significant in the UK are the two regional tournaments – Northern Cup and Southern Cup. Having being originally devised as independently organised tournaments by Keele University Quidditch Club and Southampton Quidditch Club respectively in March and November 2014, the inaugural tournaments were won by Bangor Broken Broomsticks and Radcliffe Chimeras. The tournaments were then taken over by QuidditchUK, to ensure consistency between the two, as the tournaments are now used as qualification criteria for the European Quidditch Cup.[39] The second Northern Cup took place on the 31st October-1 November 2015, and was won by Nottingham Nightmares, who defeated Durhamstrang in the final.[40] The second Southern Cup will take place on the 14–15 November.

Other long-standing tournaments include the Annual Mercian Cup, a mercenary tournament hosted by Derby Union Quidditch, Reading University's Whiteknights Tournament, and Oxford's unique Valentines Cup, a fantasy tournament where players signed up in pairs. Since awareness of quidditch in the UK is rising exponentially, every year new tournaments are being devised.

Other large tournaments[edit]

Each season, regions generally host one to two larger tournaments, mostly following the North American/European school model of two terms (autumn-winter, winter-spring) where there is one larger tournament per semester in addition to that region's regional championship.

Fantasy tournaments[edit]

Fantasy tournaments are tournaments where players sign up individually and are seeded to teams at a drawing by the team captains. Each year, there are quite a few fantasy tournaments, with greater numbers being during June–August during the off-season.

Gender or "four maximum" rule and the LGBT community[edit]

Since its inception, quidditch has sought gender equality on the pitch.[41] One of the most important requirements within the sport is its 'four maximum' rule:

A quidditch game allows each team to have a maximum of four players, not including the seeker, who identify as the same gender in active play on the field at the same time. The gender that a player identifies with is considered to be that player’s gender, which may or may not correspond with that person’s sex. This is commonly referred to as the "four maximum" rule. USQ accepts those who don’t identify within the binary gender system and acknowledges that not all of our players identify as male or female. USQ welcomes people of all identities and genders into our league.

— US Quidditch, "Four Maximum Rule"[42]

Because of this wording, quidditch is becoming a leader of sports for equal basing for both women and non-binary members of the LGBT community.[43] In 2013, US Quidditch created Title 9 ¾, a branch of the IQA that actively promotes advocacy and awareness as well as gender equality and inclusivity,[44] whose role moved onto to the IQA under its "Initiatives".[41] The sport as also been illustrated to yield a positive experience for athletes of all genders, increased desires for inclusivity and stereotype reduction.[41] Testimonials include: "The gender rule makes playing safe for me. I'm trans and genderqueer, two reasons I never know which team to join... so having a non-binary option means I don't have to choose."[45]

Quidditch by other rules[edit]

There are other variants of real-life Quidditch, notably played in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Hungary amongst other places. These variants often play with rules similar to the fictional sport within the Harry Potter universe but differ wildly from the IQA rules, including but not limited to: playing without brooms, brooms serving a different purpose, referees throwing balls to act as snitches, differing bludger and beater roles, etc.[46]

A version of "real life" quidditch is also portrayed in the film The Internship, however it strays wildly from quidditch's ruleset.[47]

Corrigan Quidditch[edit]

While Middlebury College certainly began the sporting craze for quidditch, an independent form of the sport originated in the early spring of 2007 on the campus of the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia.[48] This version of the sport uses a Flying Disk as its quaffle, dodge balls as bludgers, and a golden-yellow 'super ball' for the snitch. This form of the game (known affectionately as 'Corrigan Quidditch' after its originator, an English professor at the university who taught a Harry Potter class that term and developed the game for tournament play as an outgrowth of that course) does not call for players to hold a broom between the legs. Additionally, all of the playing apparatus is located within the playing pitch (quaffle, bludgers, snitch, beater's bats, and keeper's brooms). The two brooms are used only to defend the goals, which rise five, ten, and fifteen feet above the pitch at each end of an elongated octagonal playing field approximately 200 feet long. 'Corrigan Quidditch', as does the Middlebury version, has its own official rule book but features whimsical offenses including a 'Queensbury' (moving both feet whilst holding the quaffle) and an 'Impermissible' (which allows the offended chaser to run with the quaffle (without incurring a Queensbury offense) and make a 'try' at the goals, defended only by the opposing keeper). Play includes non-participating teams who stand around the pitch and take control of both 'bludgering' players as well as 'sending off' the snitch at irregular intervals during play to allow the seekers (who are kept secret during play) to attempt a game-winning catch. 'Corrigan Quidditch' was the form of play originally covered in the world press during that significant summer when the seventh Harry Potter book (and fifth Harry Potter movie) was released. Unlike the world-popular Middlebury version, 'Corrigan Quidditch' remains a local event still played on its originating campus.[49]

Kidditch[edit]

Modified rules with less contact have been used for younger (school age) players.[50] These rules include no tackling, modified hoops, and a little lee-way on calls made by referees.

Wheel-chair quidditch[edit]

The Australian Quidditch Association has a set of rules for wheel-chair quidditch. It is rarely used elsewhere; however, it is starting to gain traction in several other countries.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Safety in Quidditch: A Pre-Report | International Quidditch Association". Internationalquidditch.org. 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2013-06-24. [dead link]
  2. ^ Avitable, Adam (April 15, 2013). "The Quidditch World Cup VI: Broom Goes the Dynamite". Avitable. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ Plummer, Willis. "Alex Benepe, Quidditch Commissioner, On the Upcoming Quidditch World Cup". Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 21, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Get the Rules | International Quidditch Association". Internationalquidditch.org. Retrieved 2013-06-24. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Team USA wins gold at Quidditch Global Games 2014 in Burnaby". Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  7. ^ "About Us". Australian Quidditch Association. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "About Us". QUK. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Fédération du Quidditch Français". www.quidditch.fr. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  10. ^ "THE QUIDDITCH POST: Quidditch in Argentina/ Quidditch en la Argentina". THE QUIDDITCH POST. 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  11. ^ "Rule 6.1. The Mounted Broom; International Quidditch Association" (PDF). iqaquidditch.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  12. ^ "2.2.1.2 and 2.2.1.3 Hoop Shape and Positioning; International Quidditch Association" (PDF). iqaquidditch.com. Retrieved 2016-11-06. 
  13. ^ a b c "2.3 Game Balls; International Quidditch Association" (PDF). iqaquidditch.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  14. ^ "Quidditch Tournament Benefits Local Charities," SUNY-ESF website. Accessed: April 18, 2015.
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  16. ^ "Rule 3.2 Starting the Game" (PDF). US Quidditch, Inc. 2015. 
  17. ^ "Rule 4.4.4 Keeper Possession; International Quidditch Association" (PDF). iqaquidditch.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  18. ^ "Chaser Restart 4.4.1; International Quidditch Association" (PDF). iqaquidditch.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
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  22. ^ "Rule 2.1.8.2 Spectator Area; International Quidditch Association" (PDF). iqaquidditch.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  23. ^ "Rule 6.4.7.2 Time of Penalty; International Quidditch Association" (PDF). iqaquidditch.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  24. ^ a b "IQA Rulebook 7; International Quidditch Association" (PDF). iqaquidditch.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  25. ^ a b International Quidditch Association. "1.4.2 Technical Foul & 2.3.3" (PDF). iqaquidditch.com. USQ. Retrieved 9 February 2015. [dead link]
  26. ^ Old IQA becomes the USQ[dead link] Archived March 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.[dead link]
  27. ^ IQA Website: IQA Global Games Announced[dead link]
  28. ^ "European Games Date and Location Announced". International Quidditch Association. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  29. ^ Flood, Alison (15 November 2016). "Off to a flying start: Quidditch Premier League launched in UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  30. ^ "Divisions". Quidditch Premier League. Quidditch Premier League. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  31. ^ "European Quidditch Championship 2012". Euroquidstat. 
  32. ^ "EQC III Announcement". Quidditch Europe. Facebook. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "Thank Yous for the Organisation of the European Championships". Facebook. 21 October 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  34. ^ "EQC14". Quidditch Europe. Facebook. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  35. ^ "Quidditch Canada Membership". Quidditch Canada. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  36. ^ "Regionals, Nationals Dates and Locations Announced". Quidditch Canada. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  37. ^ "Regionals; Quidditch Reference". quidditch-reference.com. Retrieved 2013-11-25. [dead link]
  38. ^ BBC Website: First 'Quidditch' British Cup under way in Oxford
  39. ^ "QuidditchUK – 2015–16 Season – Northern and Southern Regional Cups". 
  40. ^ "QuidditchUK – Northern Cup 2015 Final Standings". 
  41. ^ a b c "Initiatives". IQA. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  42. ^ "Four Maximum Rule" (PDF). USQ Rulebook 9. US Quidditch. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  43. ^ Dennison, Kevin 'Kevlar' (23 April 2014). "3 Reasons Why Quidditch is More Gender Inclusive than Roller Derby". Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  44. ^ "Title 9 ¾ ; US Quidditch". usquidditch.com. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  45. ^ Investigating a Coed Sport's Ability to Encourage Inclusion and Equality http://journals.humankinetics.com/jsm-back-issues/jsm-volume-28-issue-2-march/investigating-a-coed-sports-ability-to-encourage-inclusion-and-equality.
  46. ^ Egyetemi Kviddics Liga (26 April 2013). "Kviddics kisfilm – EKL – Egyetemi Kviddics Liga" (in Hungarian). YouTube. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  47. ^ Movieclips Coming Soon (29 May 2013). "The Internship Movie CLIP – Quidditch (2013) – Vince Vaughn Comedy HD". YouTube. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  48. ^ Metro, 79.6 (20 July 2007). "Corrigan Quidditch reported in the UK". Metro (UK). Retrieved 20 July 2007. 
  49. ^ FOX News, Carolina (21 August 2013). "Image of Corrigan Quidditch mistakenly used to illustrate Middlebury World Cup article". Fox Carolina. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  50. ^ Carey, Alexis (15 April 2014). "From Harry Potter to Sydney schools, Quidditch has become a real competitive sport". Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 25 April 2014. 

External links[edit]