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What is quidditch?


Quidditch is the world's only mixed-gender, full-contact sport, and is played everywhere from Turkey to Canada to Uganda to Australia to Singapore. It is truly a worldwide sport, and is enjoyed by athletes of all ages and athletic backgrounds. 

Okay, so how do I play?


Quidditch has 4 distinct positions. Each position has a specific responsibility within the team, and is identified by the colour of the headband while on the pitch. Everyone is required to be on their broom at all time while in play, and there must be a maximum of 4 of any one gender on the pitch at all times (excluding the seeker). 

First of all, there are chasers. Each team has 3 chasers who wear white headbands, and their job is to score points with the quaffle (you may know it better as a volleyball, albeit a slightly deflated one). Chasers put the quaffle through one of three hoops, from either side, winning the team 10 points with each goal. 


The other player that plays with the quaffle is the keeper. There is one keeper who wears a green headband. They have several jobs on the team. Their primary function is to stop the quaffle from going through the hoop, much like a keeper in football. However, keepers often take on an offensive role within the team as well, moving the ball up the pitch with chasers and either driving to the hoops or making a distribution pass. 


Chasers and keepers may contact each other, including wraps, stiff arms, grappling, and tackling. 


The team's 2 beaters play with bludgers (rubber dodgeballs) and wear black headbands. There are 3 bludgers on the pitch, meaning that there will always be one team in possession of 2 bludgers and the other team in possession of 1 bludger. Beaters throw the bludgers at anyone on pitch, and if the other player is hit they must dismount their broom, run back to their hoops, and tag back in, at which point then they can resume play. If somebody is holding a ball when they are hit by a bludger, they must drop it straight to the ground before returning to their hoops. 


Beaters may only contact other beaters, with contact allowed including wraps, stiff arms, grappling, and tackling. 


Finally, there is the seeker, who wears a yellow headband and is tasked with catching the snitch - the tennis ball inside a sock attached to the snitch runner, The snitch runner comes onto the field at 18 minutes of game time and can evade the seekers however they like; they often wrestle or grapple with the seekers. Catching the snitch is worth 30 points and ends the game.

Sounds good, but what do you mean by mixed-gender, isn't that just co-ed?


There are actually more than two genders. Quidditch recognises your gender as whatever gender you identify as, be it male, female, genderqueer, agender, genderfluid, etc. Trans individuals can play as well, and like everyone else they count towards whatever gender they identify as. If you are still not sure what this means, the internet has some excellent resources - here's one to get you started.


The other part of quidditch accepting all genders, not just the two binary genders, is that people have the right to say how they identify and it is vital that we accept people at their word. There is no way to "prove" a person's gender; if somebody says they're agender, even if they present traditionally feminine or masculine, they are agender. 

But I've never played sports before! 


That's okay - find your local quidditch team and try a practice or two! Many quidditch players are becoming athletes for the first time through quidditch, many people just like it for the social aspect, and yet others have been athletes most of their lives. 


Despite the range of athletic talent that we see on the pitch, the general consensus is that quidditch is one of, if not the single most welcoming community players have ever been exposed to. All you need to play quidditch is a pair of athletic shoes, willingness to run on a broom, and the desire to show up and have fun!


Peter Elstadt

Peter Elstadt

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