Quidditch is an actual sport that gets played in real colleges

It’s incredible just how much Harry Potter has shaped the world. The franchise gripped millions of people during its heyday, and its impact continues to be felt here and overseas. We expect J.K. Rowling never anticipated her series would become so popular, especially given the lengths fans have gone to bring it to life. Students all across the country now play Quidditch as part of a college sport, and when we first found out, we had to do a double take. How do you play something that requires flying brooms and magic balls when you’re only a muggle?

Basics of the game

A lot of thought has gone into turning Quidditch into a sport that can be played competitively in the real world. Obviously, certain changes have been made to account for the fact that magic (sadly) doesn’t exist. However, for the most part, a lot of the rules surrounding this version of Quidditch are the same as they are in Harry Potter.

The aim of the game is to score points by two means – the quaffle and the snitch. The former is a slightly deflated volleyball which chasers must throw through hoops at the other end of the field. The latter is a tennis ball contained in a sock that hangs from an official’s shorts. Seekers attempt to grab the snitch while the official does everything in their power to keep them at bay.

Holding off the competition

Part of the challenge of Quidditch is staying on your broom while trying to score points. It’s not always easy to do when you have beaters pelting you with bludgers. In the muggle version of the sport, these are dodgeballs which the players throw to try and knock out the competition. If someone gets hit by the ball, they have to drop what they’re doing and touch their hoops before they can return to the game.

As well as having two beaters, both quidditch teams also have a keeper. This person basically acts as a goalkeeper to try and prevent the other side from getting the quaffle through the hoops. Keepers can get physical with chasers to stop them from scoring, and they’re also immune to attacks from beaters.

A worldwide sport

This version of Quidditch has been around since 2005, meaning the sport is still in its early days. As teams continue to adjust to the game, they’re identifying places where the rules might need alterations and putting their changes forward. Any issues they might have are taken to the International Quidditch Association who deal with the regulation of the sport around the world. The game is played in so many places, including South America, Australia, and Western Europe, although it’s most popular in the United States and Canada.

As support for Quidditch has grown, more and more colleges have welcomed it into their sports programs. Several years after its inception, World Cups were introduced where teams from all over could put their skills to the test. The majority of players in these competitions were from the US, although other countries did get involved too. That just goes to show how beloved Harry Potter is across the globe.

You’d think that without magic, Quidditch would be a sport unavailable to us mere muggles. However, students have proven that with a bit of ingenuity and imagination, you can achieve almost anything. Now, who’s up for a game?