The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Quidditch

Witches, Wizards and Muggles. Pick up your broomstick; it’s that time of year. You need to begin practice in order for the chance to qualify for the 2021 Summer Quidditch World Cup. And, even if you’re not wanting to become a league team member, quidditch for muggles is one of the most fun sporting games to play among friends, family and workplace team building.

Here at The Hobby Kraze, we love to introduce new sports, games and hobbies as well as the traditional favourites. And, as a growing sport across the world, quidditch is no exception. 

So, in preparation for the ultimate beginner’s guide to quidditch, the team binged the Harry Potter series, the Fantastic Beasts series and dabbled in the real life quidditch rules because you can’t not. And, we’re here to give you everything there is to know about quidditch, from its origin story in the wizarding world to its new beginning as quidditch for muggles and – of course – the rules of the game. Have a quick swish and flick at all the questions we’ll be answering:

  1. What is Quidditch?
  2. How Does Quidditch Differ Between Wizarding Folk and Muggles?
  3. Where Did the Concept of Real Life Quidditch Fly in from?
  4. Why Should You Decide to Play in the Quidditch World Cup?
  5. What Are the Different Balls Used Within Quidditch for Muggles?
  6. What is the Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Quidditch Player Roles?
  7. What Other Equipment is Needed When Learning How to Play Quidditch?
  8. What is the Gameplay of Quidditch for Muggles?
  9. Are there any Incantation Terms that are a Must-Know?
  10. How Can You Play a Game as Bleak as the Quidditch World Cup of 1473?
  11. Which Teams are Taking on New Quidditch Players?

Before we begin, you’ll need to know that flying is not permitted in quidditch for muggles. In fact, the real life quidditch rules have been adapted to ensure fairness and gravity are the main concern. Meaning tackling will become one of the 700 fouls if a player is lifted off the ground or tackled when mid-air. And, yes, tackling is allowed so you’ll also need to be prepared for that!

What is Quidditch?

What is Quidditch

Quidditch is a sport stemming from the fictional (as far as they’ll allow us to believe) wizarding world of J.K. Rowling. And, as a relatively new game to the muggle world, it takes reference from other traditional and long-standing sporting arenas such as rugby, basketball, rounders, dodgeball, tag, long distance running and more. The only new part to the game (apart from the terms and know-how) would be the use of broom sticks. 

While, as already mentioned in the beginner’s guide to quidditch, real life quidditch rules forbids the use of flying, you must still abide by the same basic principles of how to play quidditch: have your broom.

Since growing in popularity across the globe, the game has developed the Quidditch World Cup with over 38 established teams throughout Great Britain and Ireland as part of Quidditch UK. And, there are a further 200 teams affiliated with schools across the US. 

How Does Quidditch Differ Between Wizarding Folk and Muggles?

How Does Quidditch Differ Between Wizarding Folk and Muggles

With the biggest difference between quidditch for muggles and quidditch for wizards being flying, there are some other distinctions that might petrify (stun, not scare) you. The rules of how to play quidditch for muggles involves running on the ground rather than using a vehicle such as a flying broomstick, bike, hoverboard or car. 

As well as this, the muggle realm can’t tap into the same magical properties needed to give the golden snitch its artificial intelligence and flying capabilities. While technology is close to accomplishing this, real life quidditch rules have adapted for a less-magical approach. Rather than an object, the snitch has transformed into a muggle. This muggle (recognised by their yellow attire) enters the quidditch ground after 17-minutes of gameplay. They, then, run around the field to avoid being caught by the seeker. If you love running and yellow; this role is for you.

One of the best rules to be written into quidditch for muggles involves having gender-based regulation. Unlike any other traditional sport The Hobby Kraze house creates an ultimate beginner’s guide about, quidditch requires a mixed-gender team. And, teams will be disqualified if there are more than four members sharing the same gender identity. So, you know there’s always room to fit in. 

A final variance between quidditch for muggles and quidditch for wizards is the use of the broom. As any Harry Potter fan may know, our flying cousins at Hogwarts were allowed to fly in any way they’d like. No hands, two hands, three hands or more. But, real life quidditch rules state that one hand must be placed on the player’s broom while it stays between the legs at all times to avoid disqualification. 

Where Did the Concept of Real Life Quidditch Fly in from?

Where Did the Concept of Real Life Quidditch Fly in from

The name ‘quidditch’ stems from the name of the location where the first ever recorded game was played; ‘Queerditch Marsh”. As per the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling.

Rowling created the game of quidditch while in a Manchester hotel room and writing the first instalment of the Harry Potter franchise. And, while the books were published in 1997, the stories were created into films by the British Pinewood studios in 2001. After the films were released, the idea sprung into the heads of American college freshmen.

In 2005, Alex Benepe and Xander Manshel – students at Middlebury College in Vermont – decided to create a game similar to that seen in the popular movie franchise, Harry Potter. Something that began as a past-time for an idle Sunday afternoon soon grew to become a weekly game. 

By 2007, other colleges had also taken up this new sport and there was an intercollegiate match. Since then, the game has developed into a worldwide and popular activity of quidditch for muggles. And, one of the only sports tournaments where learning how to play quidditch for the Quidditch World Cup can come from watching a film.

Why Should You Decide to Play in the Quidditch World Cup?

Why Should You Decide to Play in the Quidditch World Cup

Not only will you finally get a taste of life in the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter, but you’ll be engaging in a fun sport that takes you on a ride with like-minded people. And, here at The Hobby Kraze, it’s what we do best; pairing people and groups together in order to fully enjoy their new hobby adventure. There are, of course, other reasons as well:

  • You’ll make friends
  • You can become part of a team
  • You’ll have a weekly event to look forward to
  • You’ll be engaging in key cardio exercise
  • You can choose your position on the team
  • You don’t have to play, you can be a referee
  • You’ll reduce the likelihood of a heart attack
  • You can reduce blood pressure
  • Team games decrease depression
  • Being active will reduce feelings of anxiety
  • You can release happy hormones
  • You’ll be one of the starters in an ever-growing world-wide sport
  • Its young features increase chances of acceptance to the Quidditch World Cup 
  • You’ll be engaging in something related to your favourite fictional characters
  • It is cheap
  • There are teams at most major schools and universities
  • You don’t need much equipment
  • It can be played at any time of the year no matter the weather
  • Keeping the brain active helps fight against Alzheimer’s
  • It is gender-neutral
  • It can help keep your mind stay creative
  • Practicing strategic moves are good transferrable skills for the workplace
  • Keeping active aids in weight loss endeavours

What Are the Different Balls Used Within Quidditch for Muggles?

What Are the Different Balls Used Within Quidditch for Muggles

The equipment in quidditch for muggles is very similar to those used in the wizarding world Quidditch World Cup. However, there are some small changes and differences to account for the lack of flying and magic. 

The real life quidditch rules make use of tools and equipment that are already available to the rest of us muggles. And, as a sustainability-supporting house here at The Hobby Kraze, we love to see sports and hobbies where the equipment doesn’t need to be newly manufactured or adapted for a game. This decreases the carbon footprint and helps keep a greener planet for the Quidditch World Cup to take place. 

With this, the basic names for the ‘balls’ in quidditch for muggles do stay the same. There are four balls in total, each of different sizes, weights and roles in the game of how to play quidditch. Let’s take a look:

Quaffle

The quaffle ball is a slightly deflated volleyball and is used by the chasers to score points. At each end of the field, there are three hoops of varying heights. It is guarded by the keeper, but the quaffle needs to be thrown through one of these hoops in order to gain 10 points for the team. There is only ever one quaffle ball in play at once.

Bludger

There are two bludgers in quidditch for muggles and they are used by the beaters in order to disrupt opposing team members. This ball is a recycled dodgeball offering soft yet significant contact when thrown at other players. There are two balls in play at any time and 4 beaters (two for each team). These balls can also be used to aid the keeper in preventing a goal.

Snitch 

As we all know from the popular Harry Potter series, the golden snitch is one of the most important aspects to the game as it will end the game and automatically award 150 points to the team whose seeker caught the ball. However, in quidditch for muggles, the ball is changed for a player. This player is dressed in yellow and carries a sock holding a tennis ball behind them. The snitch needs to escape the seeker and evade capture.

What is the Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Quidditch Player Roles?

What is the Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Quidditch Player Roles

Now we know the balls in the game and a slight introduction to their player counterparts, we should probably steer this beginner’s guide to quidditch into the realm of player roles. After all, this could be you in your new hobby adventure. 

In every game of quidditch, each team is made of seven players. Then, there’s the snitch and the referee. The seven players need to be a mix of both female and male players with no more than four players sharing the same gender identity on a team. Another reason the team at The Hobby Kraze love this new sport; it is modern, encompassing and inclusive! Let’s have a look at what your role in the house team could be:

Seeker (Yellow Headband)

Each team has one seeker. After the game starts, there is 17 minutes of gameplay before the snitch and the seeker are let out onto the field. After this point the game can end almost immediately. The seeker’s job is to chase the snitch and steal the tennis ball. Doing this will award your team 150 points. However, if the opposing team already has more than 15 goals with the quaffle, it doesn’t guarantee a win. So, a top tip from The Hobby Kraze team would be to always keep an eye on the score and make sure that ending the game with an extra 150 points will get you the win.

Chaser (White Headband)

There are three chasers on a team. These chasers have the job of finding the quaffle, carrying it to the three ‘goals’ or hoops at their end of the pitch, bypassing the keeper and scoring. They can score by either kicking or throwing the quaffle through the varying hoops. However, you’ll have to watch out for beaters and the bludger as this high-contact sport can result in a concussion and a loss of a goal.

Keeper (Green Headband)

As the keeper in the team, you’ll be in charge of protecting the three hoops at your end of the pitch. You’ll need to remain on your broom while defending against goals and protecting the overall score. However, unlike Ron in the Wizarding World, you won’t have any liquid luck on your side (or the placebo, either).

Beater (Black Headband)

The final members of quidditch for muggles include two beaters. Their job is to use the bludgers to distract the opposing team members. The main objectives can be to make sure that opposing team chasers drop the quaffle or miss the goal. They can also distract the opposing seeker to make sure the game doesn’t end in a loss. As a beater, you’ll need to be very Slytherin as it requires courage, cunning and resourcefulness.

Snitch

While not a member of the team, the player enacting the snitch needs to be a part of the real life quidditch rules in order for the muggle Quidditch World Cup to take place and – eventually – end. So, if you’re not wanting to become part of the national teams but still want to be in quidditch for muggles, try out your luck as the snitch. However, make sure to have good stamina and be quick on your feet. Another tip would be to throw a curveball here and there to distract the seekers.

Referee

A final piece of the puzzle in quidditch for muggles and, in fact, quidditch for wizards is the referee. The referee’s job is to make sure that the score is kept and none of the 700 fouls are committed. If a player commits a foul, your job as the referee would be to show a blue or yellow card to temporarily send them off the pitch. You’ll also be responsible to making sure the gender roles are kept, brooms don’t drop and the pre-game; “brooms up” is called.

What Other Equipment is Needed When Learning How to Play Quidditch?

What Other Equipment is Needed When Learning How to Play Quidditch

equipment will be quite sparse. Especially considering quidditch for muggles is not played with robes where quidditch for wizards is. There are some regulations about the no-fly brooms to be used during gameplay, but the majority of your bottomless bag will be items to make sure your time preparing for the Quidditch World Cup is fun and easy.

  • A headband with the colour of your role
  • Your team’s kit
  • A plastic ‘broom’ between 39 and 41 inches long
  • Water
  • Snitch shorts (if the snitch)
  • Whistle (if the referee)
  • Mouthguard
  • Cleated boots or trainers
  • Confidence 
  • Thermals
  • Snack
  • Watch
  • Score-recording equipment (if the referee)
  • Keeper’s Gloves

What is the Gameplay of Quidditch for Muggles?

What is the Gameplay of Quidditch for Muggles

So, you’re ready to know how to play quidditch. You’ve got the role, you’ve got the kit and your no-fly broom is situated firmly between your legs. The next thing to be covered in this beginner’s guide to quidditch is how the pitch and the real life quidditch rules come together to make a fun sporting game. 

To begin with, the quidditch pitch is oval, much like an ice-hockey ring. It is approximately 60 yards by 36 yards in size but it is worth knowing there is no offside or limit. On the pitch, there is a centreline with a centre ring running across the short diameter. The quaffle is placed in the centre while the two bludgers are placed on the centreline each side of the quaffle. At either end of the quidditch pitch, there are three hoops of varying heights. The middle is the tallest, the left is the shortest and the right-hand hoop (or, goal) is mid-height. 

Around the three hoops, there is a dedicated keeper zone, marked by a semi-circle. The keeper remains in this zone to guard the three hoops against oncoming chasers and quaffles looking to score a quick ten points. 

Before the game starts, each team begins at their corresponding side of the pitch. For example, if the Chester Centurions needed to score a gold in the hoops on the left-hand side of the pitch, they’ll need to begin the Quidditch World Cup at the right-hand side, where their keeper will remain. 

The referee will count down to make sure that all pre-game preparations will be made. Then you can expect to hear the following: “Away team, are you ready?’, “Yes.”, “Home team, are you ready?”, “Yes.”, “Ready. Brooms up!”. After this, it’s time for all players to hurtle towards the quaffle and bludgers in the middle and begin gameplay. 

One top tip from the team here at The Hobby Kraze is to watch out for aggressive and foul play within this first minute. Often, the build-up and anticipation can spark some slightly uncultivated activity. 

After 17 minutes of each team trying to score and defend against goals, the snitch is released. And, the seeker enters the pitch with the aim of catching the snitch. At this point, the game could end almost immediately, or it could run on for a further hour. 

Unlike other sporting games, quidditch for muggles doesn’t end after a certain time, nor does it end after a certain score. Instead, real life quidditch rules state that the game ends after the snitch has been captured. 

After the snitch has been captured, the successful team is awarded 150 points atop the pre-existing points from quaffle goals. The aim is to get the highest number of points and, it should be noted, that catching the snitch does not guarantee this win.

Are there any Incantation Terms that are a Must-Know?

Are there any Incantation Terms that are a Must-Know

Luckily, as quidditch is a complicated in itself, there isn’t much jargon needed to get your feet off the ground. Even if your feet need to be firmly planted in the games of quidditch for muggles. With that, the team have gathered the extra terms that could be useful to know before trying out for the Quidditch World Cup:

Muggle

The name given to non-magical folk who never received their Hogwarts letter in the post.

Warlock

The name given to a wizard, namely a male wizard. They are commonly referred to in the industry as the wizarding world of quidditch has gendered games with the most popular players being warlocks such as Victor Krum. These wizarding folks can either be pureblood or mudblood. The former meaning to come from a lineage of wizards while the latter suggests a wizard with muggle parents.

Bludger

To bludger a player means to tackle, harm, disarm, distract or remove the ball from an opposing player. Often, the bludger can end with both players on the ground. So, if you’re a chaser or beater, make sure you’re prepared for physical contact, muddy kit and bruising. 

Feint

To feint is a distracting technique often used by the seeker to confuse another seeker on their tail. One of the most popular feints to use is to dip as if you were chasing the snitch in one direction. Then, quickly change at the last minute, leaving the other seeker to plummet into a hoop, other player or side-line. In flying quidditch, you’ll find players dipping downwards to have opposing seekers plummet to the ground.

Foul

A foul is a movement or part of play that is not allowed in the game. There are 700 foul play acts that can be completed either within traditional wizarding quidditch or quidditch for muggles. Some examples include; Blagging, blatching and bumphing.

Broom’s Up

This is a phrase uttered by the referee to mean that your broom should be off the ground and you can start moving towards the centre line. 

International Quidditch Association

The International Quidditch Association is a not-for-profit governing body of the rules and regulation of worldwide quidditch for muggles. They host national teams, Summer games, biennial tournaments and more to keep the sport alive throughout the year. They’re also the global association behind the Quidditch World Cup.

Which Teams are Taking on New Quidditch Players?

Which Teams are Taking on New Quidditch Players

Now you’re ready to find a team. If you’re in the UK or US, it’s highly likely that the university you choose will have their own teams for you to become a part of. And, if you’re a muggle like the majority of the team here at The Hobby Kraze, you’ll have to venture into the world of quidditch for muggles rather than shooting for teams in the wizarding world. Such as; the Tutshill Tornados, the Chudley Cannons or the Wimbourne Wasps.

Here’s a list of the 38 professional and national teams throughout the UK that you could become a part of:

  • Bangor Broken Broomsticks
  • Bournemouth Banshees Quidditch Club
  • Bristol Quidditch Club
  • Cambridge Quidditch Club
  • Cardiff University Quidditch Club
  • Chester Centurions
  • Dark Horses Quidditch
  • Derby Quidditch
  • Durham Strang University Quidditch Club
  • East Midlands Vipers
  • Exeter Quidditch Club
  • Glasgow Grim Reapers
  • Holyrood Hippogriffs
  • Keele University Quidditch Club
  • Kent Quidditch Club
  • Leeds griffins Quidditch Club
  • Liverpool Quidditch Club
  • London Quidditch Club
  • London Unspeakables Quidditch
  • Loughborough Longshots
  • Manchester Universities Quidditch Club
  • Nottingham Nightmares
  • Olympians Quidditch Club
  • Oxford Mammoths
  • Oxford Universities Quidditch Club
  • Saint Andrews Snidgets
  • Sheffield Quidditch Club
  • Southampton Quidditch Club
  • Southsea Quidditch
  • Stirling Quidditch Club
  • Swansea Swans
  • University of Leicester Quidditch Club
  • Velociraptors Quidditch Club
  • Warwick Quidditch Club
  • Werewolves of London
  • West Country Rebels
  • Winchester Quidditch Club
  • York Horntails

Conclusion 

And, that draws a close to the ultimate beginner’s guide to quidditch from The Hobby Kraze House. From understanding how to play quidditch for muggles to getting into the teams across the UK that will take you into the Quidditch World Cup. You have all the tools, equipment and incantations needed to fly across the pitch.

Alternatively, if you’re scouring the Diagon Alley of hobbies but want more of a traditional sport, check out our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Skiing, The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Kayaking, The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Sculling and Rowing and more. Here at The Hobby Kraze, we love to bring you your new forever hobby. So, don’t forget to tell us which sport, hobby or collection you get into next over social media!

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