Quidditch: Is it really a sport?

QUIDDITCH is a sport most often associated with the Harry Potter phenomenon written by J.K Rowling, and rightly so with the series selling millions of copies and producing box office hits in the last decade. With the sport being the mainstay throughout the books, featuring a World Cup and seeing Potter as a star-seeker, the sport has now made the transition to reality with a University Quidditch team forming here at Aberystwyth.

The club started its life after some avid fans viewed a video from an American university and, after a member of the club contacted the UK branch of the International Quidditch Association, the club is now affiliated with them.

For those who aren’t familiar with the rules, the flaw is obvious. How can the game be played when flight for us normal human beings is impossible? Quidditch team player, Daniel Billett attempts to explain the rules to us:

The best way to describe gameplay would probably be a cross between rugby and dodgeball. On brooms. The brooms are obviously a defining aspect of the game, with a rule stating that the broom must be kept between the players legs at all times. This is not just a novelty however as the brooms play a big role in hindering movement which sets the game apart from other ball games.

“The teams are made up of two teams of seven: three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and a seeker. The chasers handle the quaffle which is a semi-deflated football. Their goal is to get it through one of the three hoops on their scoring side of the pitch, protected by a Keeper for each team. Passing and movement is free when holding the quaffle, however full contact is allowed as a means to get the quaffle for your team.

“If your broom is dismounted at any time, that player must drop any ball they are carrying and run around their own goal post before they continue play. They must also do this if they are hit by a Bludger: dodge balls which are thrown by the two beaters on each team.

The last player, the seeker, must chase and catch a sock which is attached to the the snitch, which is played by a person who is not part of a team. They do not have a broom so can move freely and can use nearly any tactic they can think of to avoid being captured by a seeker. The snitch is allowed to run outside of the pitch within a designated area which can span as much as a few fields. Once the snitch is caught, the game ends and the seeker that catches it wins 30 points for their team.”