BENEFITTING:

tournament

Join us on May 4, 2013 in Blount Cultural Park for the inaugural Montgomery Quidditch Tournament and Festival!

The fun begins at 10 AM. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children under 12, and FREE to Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts members. Special group rates are available. Proceeds benefit the Museum’s acquisition, exhibition, and education programs.

About the Game

Click here for the official rules of play from the International Quidditch Association.

Quidditch is a fictional sport created by British author J. K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series of novels. It is described as a rough, but very popular semi-contact sport, played by wizards and witches around the world. Matches are played between two teams of seven players riding flying broomsticks, using four balls and six elevated ring-shaped goals three on each side of the Quidditch field. In the Harry Potter universe, Quidditch holds a fervent following similar to the position that soccer holds as a globally popular sport.

The sport has been adapted under the name of Muggle Quidditch (or simply “Quidditch”) to the real world and its players are referred to as muggles. Since at least 2003, Harry Potter fans have played ball games resembling the Harry Potter sport. In the United States, teams from more than 200 colleges are affiliated with the International Quidditch Association and play tournaments.

Players and Equipment

Pitches
Quidditch matches are played on an oval-shaped, 500 feet wide grass pitch, with a small central circle approximately 2 feet in diameter. At each end stand three hooped goal posts, each at a different height: one at 30 feet, one at 40 feet, and one at 50 feet, comprising the scoring area. In Muggle Quidditch, these hoops are much lower to accommodate non-flying muggle players. Quidditch fields have white shaded areas around the goal posts, to mark the scoring area and the bounds in which keepers must stay.

Quidditch Balls

Quaffle
While bright red in the Harry Potter books, the quaffle in Muggle Quidditch is a volleyball. The quaffle can be passed or kicked. If one of the three players who are chasers throws it through the hoop they score 10 points for their team.

Bludgers
In Muggle Quidditch, the three bludgers are dodgeballs.  In the Harry Potter books, they act as airborne obstacles, flying around the pitch and trying indiscriminately to knock players off their brooms.While helped by the two players designated as beaters, the bludgers do most of the damage in the Harry Potter game of Quidditch; they will occasionally injure players and break brooms. Far safer in Muggle Quidditch, the bludgers simply disrupt the flow of the game by “knocking out” players, making them drop any balls and run to the other team’s hoops before re-entering the game.

Snitch
The golden snitch is a small golden ball, approximately the size of a walnut, that flies very quickly around the pitch in the Harry Potter books. In the game of Muggle Quidditch, the snitch is a tennis ball in a sock worn by a human dressed in gold, much like flag football. The snitch runner is not on either team, does not use a broom, and can use any means to avoid “capture,” including trickery like riding a bicycle, climbing trees or hiding in the audience. Each team has a player who is the designated seeker and their only task is to capture the snitch. The seeker who catches the snitch scores 150 points, and strictly speaking, only the capture of the snitch will end the game.

Players

Each team is made up of seven players, consisting of three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and one seeker.

The chasers progress up and down the pitch, passing the quaffle by hand amongst themselves, while keeping it away from the other team. They attempt to score goals by throwing the quaffle through one of their opponent’s three goal hoops to score 10 points.

The keeper will protect the three goal hoops, in much the same way as a goalkeeper in soccer.

The beaters are tasked with protecting their teammates and the seeker (mainly) from the bludgers by knocking balls off course or towards opponents.

Finally, the seeker, usually the fastest member of the team, is tasked for searching for and capturing the golden snitch. Seekers are the only players permitted to touch the snitch. The seekers, like Harry Potter, are usually small, agile, and stealthy.

Each team includes a captain, who may play any of the four roles. The captain helps the team practice and chooses the team players after the tryouts.

It is recommended when registering a team to compose your team of more than the mandatory 7 players so that your team has back-up. Multiple games will be played in heats throughout the day to determine a final winner. Some of the core 7 players may want to interject substitutes for later games.

Broomsticks
While magical flying broomsticks are one of the forms of transportation for wizards and witches, plain ordinary broomsticks (not the flying kind) are used in Muggle Quidditch.

Game Progression

The game begins with all seven players of each team lined up at the center of the pitch and the snitch in the middle. The referee calls for the snitch to be released, at which point, he or she runs away and can hide. When the referee yells, “Brooms up!”, play begins.

The three chasers on each team score by sending the quaffle volleyball through any of the opposite team’s three goal hoops. The two beaters on each team attempt to “knock out” players on the opposite team. The seeker spends the entirety of the game looking for the snitch runner and trying to capture the snitch. Once the snitch is caught, the game is over.

The length of the game is variable, as play can only end upon the capture of the snitch. Since the capture of the snitch is worth 150 points, the team that captures the snitch is likely to win the game. However, it is entirely possible for the team that did not catch the snitch to win if they scored enough points before the snitch was caught.