|Related terms:||Quidditch, International Quidditch Association|
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A co-ed contact sport played on a field roughly the size of a hockey rink.
Muggle Quidditch (officially just called quidditch) is a sport played in real life based on the fictional sport of the same name. Played on the ground, quidditch is a co-ed contact sport with a unique mix of elements from rugby, dodgeball, and tag. A team is made up of seven athletes who play with brooms between their legs at all times. The first quidditch game was played at Middlebury College, in Vermont, but it's now an international sport.
The pitch is rectangular with rounded corners 55 meters (60 yards) by 33 meters (36 yards) with three hoops of varying heights at either end. The sport was created in 2005 and is therefore still quite young. However, quidditch is played around the world and actively growing. The ultimate goal is to have more points than the other team by the time the snitch, a tennis ball inside a long sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official dressed in yellow, is caught. Rules of the sport are governed by the International Quidditch Association, or the IQA, and events are sanctioned by either the IQA or that nation's governing body.
To score points, chasers or keepers must get the quaffle, a slightly deflated volleyball, into one of three of the opposing hoops which scores the team 10 points. To impede the quaffle from advancing down the pitch, chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing chasers and keepers at the same time as beaters using their bludgers—dodgeballs—to take out opposing players. Once a player is hit by an opposing bludger, that player must dismount their broom, drop any ball being held, and return to and touch their hoops before being allowed back into play. The game is ended once the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, awarding that team 30 points.
A team consists of minimum seven (maximum 21) players, of which six are always on the pitch, those being the three chasers, one keeper, and two beaters. Besides the seeker who is off-pitch, the six players are required to abide by the gender rule, which states that a team may have a maximum of four players who identify as the same gender, making quidditch one of the few sports that not only offers a co-ed environment but an open community to those who do not identify with the gender binary. Matches or games often run about 30 to 40 minutes but tend to be subject to varying lengths of time due to the unpredictable nature of the snitch catch. If the score at the end of the match including the 30 point snitch catch is tied (such that the team that caught the snitch was 30 points behind the other), the game moves to overtime where the snitch is constrained to the pitch's dimensions and the game ends after five minutes or when the snitch is legally caught.
The sport was created in 2005 at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, by Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe, who later became the first commissioner of quidditch. It has grown into its own separate and distinct sport after ten publications of rulebooks.
After beginning in 2005, the sport grew to the point where, in 2007, the first Quidditch World Cup took place with Middlebury taking the place of the top team. Since then, yearly until 2014, there was a World Cup within the United States, where collegiate and community teams would compete to be the best team. While Canada often sent several Ontario or Quebec teams, and Australia and France each sent a team once, the World Cup in its state never saw true international competition. In 2012, the IQA hosted the Summer Games, where five nations hosted national teams. Two years later, the IQA hosted the Global Games, during which the United States defeated Australia for the gold medal.
Since beginning at Middlebury College, the sport has grown through universities such as UC Berkeley in the United States, but it soon grew internationally, arriving in Canada through McGill University and Carleton University in 2009. In 2010 UCLA became the first major university to create a permanent Quidditch pitch, through the generosity of actor-alumnus Matthew Perry. Quidditch began to take shape around the world with teams beginning in Australia, the UK, and France. It soon spread across Europe and the Americas, arriving in Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. There are now active teams in Malaysia, China, Uganda, the Philippines, New Zealand and Vietnam.
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