Category Archives: Quidditch

QUIDDITCH – August 10th – Melbourne Mudbash 2013 Tournament

Harry Potter is the biggest selling book series of all time. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see the world) I have zero interest in it. There were 8 films made of the books, of which I have literally seen zero minutes of. I fully intend not to. I daresay I am not alone in this statistic, but I can guarantee that in the developed world at least, I would be in the minority.  No doubt I will offend many millions of people here and this review is not intended to be the be all and end all of all things Quidditch, but just to give a little insight into this eccentric game (not sure it’s a sport just yet…..)! When the teams competing have names like the Manticores, the Wrackspurts, the Basilisks, Team Amazeballs, the Muggles and Orion College Hunters you quickly realise you have entered a vaguely fictional realm.

At first view, I find myself in the depths of deepest Geekworld, population: voluminous. I see 3 “floating” hoops at each end of a 30 metre field. I see brightly coloured teams, who in all fairness are a far cry from your run-of-the-mill athlete, in fact the majority are a far cry from any athlete at all. The players or Quidditchers or Quidkids, as they might or might not be referred to as, run around the field with a broom between their legs, which becomes the integral facet to the game. The primary object of the game is to get the ball through one of the hoops – simples hey?

There are funky Potteresque names for all these, of which I will include none as it will just confuse you. No-one needs to know the difference between Quaffles & Bludgers really – do they??? It is part lacrosse, part handball, part rugby, part dodgeball and another part that still makes little sense to me at all – it involves someone wearing predominantly yellow with a tail, running around trying their best not to lose that tail. They are chased by one Quidditcher from each team and they seem to be able to go absolutely anywhere they like in order to continue their absconding, and I’m not sure that the role they play is either superficial or focal.

quidditch snitch

There are 4 balls in play at once – only one is used for scoring, the others are used to take players out of the game. When you do get tagged with the non-scoring balls, you immediately have to “dismount” your broom and run back to touch your goal hoop, in order to become “live” again.

There is a headband system that defines the roles of the players. Yellow headbanders chase the yellow guy for his tail. White headbanders get all the glory and are the ones that score the goals/hoops. Black headbanders are the dodgeballers who take others out of the play by hitting them with their ball. Green headbanders are the goalkeepers, but get to be involved in all aspects of play.

Now, I did have to look up the rules of the game to truly understand some of the intricacies, but I couldn’t quite get past this section that appears in the overview:

The “two-minimum” gender rule

A Quidditch game requires each team to have at least two players on the field who identify with a different gender than at least two other players. The gender that a player identifies with is considered to be that player’s gender, which may or may not be the same as that person’s sex. We call this the “two-minimum” rule.
The IQA accepts those who don’t identify within the binary gender system, and acknowledge that not all of our players identify as male or female. We welcome people of all identities and genders into our league.

There’s some real crazy stuff there right there. I’m not 100% sure if I should dwell on this or not, but it kind of raises more questions than it answers I think. There’s a whole boy wants to be a girl thing possibility, and what if Caster Semenya wants to play??? Anyway, let’s get on with the game – here’s how it kicks off:

At times, it actually becomes quite violent, as full tackling is allowed which is surprising as teams are mixed and there is no quarter given in terms of who’s tackling who! I witnessed females getting absolutely poleaxed by quite large males and just bouncing back up and getting on with it! I’m sure there are rules regarding the violent nature of certain tackles, but I didn’t see any “free-kicks” or punishments dished out by the referees at all!

quidditch 1+2Quidditch 3

The ball seems live for the majority of the time, and thus play is continuous. Interchanges happen on the run and the art of the counter-attack is predominant. It is supposed to be a one-handed event too. The broomstick is supposed to be held at all times, although due to the the physical nature of some of the protagonists, it does manage to sit where it’s supposed to, unsupported by human hands.

Quidditch 311

There are inevitably some people that take it far too seriously, but that is true of any sport or pastime. There are some people that no doubt live there lives through this fantasy fulfillment – and the one thing I can always say about these things, is that everybody’s heart is in the same place. The sense of community and togetherness is second to none and it shows throughout the event. There are no egos here, and I guess it’s the sense of organised chaos that contributes to this. To the untrained eye, it’s strange, but that also could be said about most team sports. Everyone involved also has a common interest too – you quickly forget that everyone is a Harry Potter nerd!!!!

There is a Quidditch World Cup. If you are interested in forming a team and going, the International Quidditch Association (yes, honestly!) have just announced today that QWC VII will be held on 5 & 6th April 2014 in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. South Myrtle Beach is very jealous. The organisers are hoping that more than 4 countries are represented next time round as only the US, Canada, France and Mexico sent teams to the 2013 event.

I am quite amazed that an author like JK Rowling had the vision to invent a whole new sport, no matter how fantasy driven it was. Obviously the imagination is a mighty tool and the conceptualisation it has taken to turn a game for wizards on flying broomsticks into a genuine flat plane activity is incredible. Aside from the fantasy, it is a genuine contest between two willing teams. The sideshow of the yellow tail chasers is perhaps where I draw the line, but I guess there needs to be some sort of ongoing link to its fictional creation. If it gets the more sportingly challenged members of our society more outdoors and active, in an environment where they are most at home, then we should be all for it. People have dedicated their lives to much worse causes!!!

MELBOURNE MUDBASH 2013 TOURNAMENT

WINNERS: MELBOURNE MANTICORES (P4 W4 L0)

quidditch winners

Number of Events

TBC

Number of Sports

TBC

Gigs (Bands: Headlines + Support)

TBC

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