Ready to take off? Play quidditch!
The real-life sport of ‘quidditch’ (with a lowercase ‘Q’) landed in Rotterdam almost a year ago. Based on the magical game as described by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter books, quidditch is an exciting mix of handball, rugby and dodgeball. With seven players (of all genders) and four different positions on the field on the same time, it can be a little chaotic for first time viewers.
Oh, and did we mention it’s played on brooms?
How does it work? Well, a team consists of seven players: three chasers, a keeper, two beaters and a seeker.
Chasers use a slightly deflated volleyball, known as the ‘quaffle’, to score through one of the three hoops positioned on either side of the field, earning their team ten points.
It’s the beaters job to try to stop them and disrupt the game by knocking people out with so-called ‘bludgers’, or dodgeballs.
Finally, the seeker has the illustrious job of trying to catch the snitch, earning their team thirty points and ending the game. The snitch unfortunately is not the golden flying ball you may know from the books and films, but an impartial player with a tennis ball in a sock attached to their shorts.
It may all seem a little silly at first glance, but quidditch is one of the most inclusive sports there is. Teams are mixed, with people identifying as male, female, non-binary or other genders. And unlike in sports such as ‘korfbal’, people of different genders can (and are encouraged to) make contact with people of different genders; tackling or wrapping for example.
The Rotterdam team, called the Rotterdam Ravens, hosts practices twice a week. They can be spotted, usually wearing green, on Thursday evenings in Zuiderpark and Sunday afternoons in Kralingse Bos. New players from all backgrounds are welcome to join.
Picture credit: Robert Bruggeling