Quidditch, the international renowned sport of wizards in the Harry Potter series of books and movies, has been taking the real-life world by storm for many years.

It’s been played for fun with improvised rules and constantly changing rules all for the sake of fun. Hell, back in the early 2000’s as a counselor at a summer camp, I even played a game. I was a beater, and ran around hitting people with a Nerf bat. It was actually rather fun! But it wasn’t done in any organized way, just a way to keep the kids entertained during the long and hot summer days.

However, it seems to have gone to a whole other level.

According to Badass Digest, there are organized teams and thousands of people participating. It seems a little hard to believe, but I suppose different strokes for different folks, right?

There’s an International Quidditch Association (their website) and there seem to be dozens upon dozens of teams at colleges and high schools. And they have a rule book, one which clocks in at 49 pages of dos, don’ts and tips.

The real life game is quite similar to the fictional one. There are chasers and beaters and a keeper, all of whom play the more mundane parts of Quidditch – getting a ball through a hoop (hula hoops on sticks in the case of real life Quidditch). But then there are the more fantastical elements – the snitch, a tiny golden magic ball that is the secret to winning the game, and the seeker, whose job is to just find and catch the snitch. In real life Quidditch one player is decked out in yellow clothes and runs around the field with a ball in a yellow sock tied around his neck – he’s the snitch.

Some of the players seem to take the whole thing tongue in cheek – they are running around on broomsticks and wearing capes, after all – while others take it kind of seriously. There are those who want it to be a recognized college sport. This year was the fourth Quidditch World Cup, held in New York. And there’s talk of a Quidditch exhibition game at the 2012 Olympics.

Category: Film, Nerd Culture, WTF?

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