On Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary this week, Manchester will broaden its sporting horizons by hosting a Quidditch Premier League fixture.
The sporting spin-off from the world of Harry Potter is already played by hundreds of people around the country who will this weekend come together to fight for the top spot.
Teams will spend Saturday competing on Platt Fields Park in Fallowfield – in a contest hosted by the Quidditch Premier League (QPL).
The QPL represents the sport in the UK and is made up of eight teams, four from the North Division, and four from the South.
The eight teams to be competing in the cup will be; The London Monarchs, The Southwest Broadside, the Southeast Knights, The Eastern Mermaids, The Northern Watch, The Yorkshire Roses, The East Midland Archers and The West Midland Revolution.
Eddie Bruce, team manager from The Northern Watch based in Sheffield, said: “I’m very excited about the first northern fixture of the season.
“The Northern Watch has been training hard and I’m very interested to see what strategies and playing styles other teams will favour, and if ours will work the best.”
He also emphasized the inclusiveness of the sport, allowing anyone with an interest to take part.
He told MM: “The sport has continued to grow over the last few years and it is fantastic to see. It really is a sport anyone can take part in; the variety of positions allows people to find what is right for them.”
He added: “We’re feeling pretty confident for the weekend hoping we can win at least two out of three matches.”
How to play Quidditch
Whilst the real-life version isn’t quite as dangerous as the one played by the famous boy wizard himself, there are a lot of rules to get your head around.
Comprising of a number of different elements, it is often described as a hybrid between lacross, rugby and dodgeball.
How does it work?
Players can be one of four positions:
Keepers – Guard the hoops from opposing chasers and become a 4th chaser on offence.
Chasers – Throw the quaffle through the opposite team’s hoops to score goals worth 10 points.
Beaters -Throw bludgers at the opposing team to “knock them out” and make them return to hoops.
Seekers – Catch the snitch (worth 30 points) to end the game.
A game of Quidditch involves three types of balls:
The Quaffle – a semi-deflated volleyball thrown through the hoops by chasers and keepers.
Bludgers – dodgeballs thrown at other players by beaters. There are three bludgers on the pitch.
The Snitch – a sock with a tennis ball in it, attached to the snitch runner’s shorts. When caught by either team’s seeker, the game ends.
A team must not have more than four members of the same gender.
Each team will have one keeper, three chasers, two beaters and one seeker.
The match ends when one of the seekers catches the snitch (they must hold the tennis ball for a minimum of three seconds).
Unlike the famous wizarding books, rather than flying around on broomsticks, the players take to the field in a game which is a mixture of lacross, rugby and dodgeball.
This weekend’s Manchester fixture is the second out of six to be held in the UK this season to determine who will be crowned QPL champions.
It is a non-ticketed event and anyone is free to go along and watch. This year’s season is due to conclude in August.
The sport which developed from the famous series by JK Rowling now has over 20,000 players competing internationally from 25 different counties across the globe.
If you are interested in getting involved in playing Quidditch, click here or go along to a fixture to speak with team members.
Picture courtesy of Gio Forno, with thanks.