Have you ever heard about Quidditch? People who are keen about Harry Potter may be extremely familiar with the sport in the world of magic, an imaginary game where wizards fly on broomsticks. However, have you ever watched a Quidditch game in the real world? If not, don’t worry! Let me tell you about my incredible experience watching Quidditch.
I had previously heard about the University of Leicester Quidditch team back home in China on the ‘Micro-Blog’, China’s version of Twitter. This was even before I decided to study abroad at all and the reason I chose Leicester. Since then it has become one of my dreams to watch a real-world Quidditch game, and now I have achieved my dream!
On a lazy Sunday afternoon, with the sun shining off the grass in Victoria Park, the University of Leicester Quidditch Society’s members were divided into two teams doing their practice drills. There were roughly 20 people in each team, carefully but enthusiastically passing the balls to the next person. Although they were only quite simple, boring practices, many people of different ages gathered together to sit on the grass watching and waiting for the match to be held about an hour later.
You may feel confused about how a flying sport can be held on land, however, that is exactly the most intriguing and attractive point about real-world Quidditch. Actually this Quidditch is almost the same as the magic one, except the players are not able to fly. There are altogether seven players in each team, including three Chasers, two Beaters, one Keeper and finally one Seeker. Also a set rule is that there should be more than two players of different gender in each team. It appears that in real life Quidditch players care more about gender equality than their magical (fictional) counterparts. About the balls; they are greatly different to balls used in more common ball games. There are three different kinds of balls being used, firstly one called a Quaffle (in this case a volleyball), the Bludgers (three dodgeballs) and lastly, the Golden Snitch. The most unbelievable and funniest thing is that the Golden Snitch is a person running fast around the court with a tennis ball attached to their waist and packed into a long yellow sock, instead of a small golden metal ball with a pair of wings flying across the sky. The Chasers’ responsibility is throwing or kicking the Quaffle through the opponent’s goal to get 10 points. And the task of the Beaters is to protect the players of their team from being attacked by the Bludger, and they have to beat the Bludger away from their players as far as they can, of course, it would be much better if the ball was able to magically attack their opponent players. As for the keepers, they are very similar to the keepers in a football team, whose task it is to protect their goals. The seekers are the most important players of the whole match, because they are supposed to catch the running Snitch. Once the game begins, the Snitch will appear on the court after 10 minutes. If a seeker of one team catches the Snitch, it means their team is instantly victorious, winning the entire match regardless of the previous scores of each team. There is no doubt that the seekers are the targets of the Beaters, which are often beat by the Bludger. Throughout the whole game, all players should hold the broomsticks tightly, though obviously they cannot ride them and fly away.
Don’t you think it is wonderful to watch such an amazing sport in the real world of Leicester instead of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Every one of us can be a hero like Harry Potter and play Quidditch. Just imagine how cool it would be if we could fly on the broomsticks. Come and watch the magic game in the real world!
by Yushi Luan