Quidditch is a fictional sport existing in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The question "Was making Quidditch a Real Sport the Sane Thing to Do?", on the other hand, is still open for debate.&
J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, decided to include the concept of Quidditch into the life of Harry Potter. Rowling saw that having Harry Potter's parents killed by one of the greatest Dark Wizards in history and being mocked and abused by his adaptive and stereotypically British family weren't enough, and thus decided to add something more to his list of woes. Specifically, "risk of falling one hundred feet from the ground" and "getting limbs broken by enchanted iron ball".
Rowling, doodling on the draft of the first Harry Potter book: "Yep, that'll do it."
Quidditch? Is that even a word?
Apparently it is, despite the mute, red-colored protests of the spell-check feature.
Its cold, hard gaze, mocking us. Always mocking us.
Quidditch, in the wizarding world, is an intense sport that involves two teams of flying wizards, using broomsticks, attempting to score goals for their team. This in turn gives it the potential to be a badass fusion version of soccer and basketball, if Michael Jordan and Pele were able to fly and were freaking wizards.
Quidditch is the most popular sport in the Harry Potter universe, where it is played at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as well as having more than thirty teams in its international roster. They actually have a World Cup for this.
Imagine the rampaging, drunk World Cup soccer hooligans of the regular world, give them each a magic wand with powers the world has never seen and an enormous barrel of beer, wait for fifteen minutes until they're all drunk, and tell them the other side won the match. This is how risky the Quidditch World Cup is, and how dedicated J.K. Rowling is to make Harry Potter's life a living deathtrap.
Left: Regular soccer hooligans. Right: Regular Quidditch hooligans. Not pictured in both: sobriety.
As Grand Warlock Samuel L. Jackson has stressed above, it's important to learn how to talk the Quidditch talk so you can walk the Quidditch walk. Quidditch follows a strict set of rules, the breaking of which is immediately followed by disqualification. Given that the person they're disqualifying is someone who can shoot fire from wands and can fly on a broomstick, hurling balls of aforementioned fire on the crowd, being a Quidditch referee must probably be punishment for the worst faculty member at Hogwarts. This could explain why in one book of the series, Hans Gruber was made referee for one match.
Whether this was the result of Gruber's poor performance review or because he was really Alan Rickman was never clarified in the novel.
The objective of Quidditch is to score as many goals as possible until the game is finished, with each goal earning 10 points for the team. The game only finishes when one of the players, the Seeker, manages to catch the Golden Snitch, which is worth 150 points.
Catching the Snitch proves to be so difficult that the record for the longest Quidditch match was three months. Three months. According to the book, "they had to keep sending substitute players so that the players could get some rest." Bear in mind that as students, they probably lost a lot of study time while playing Quidditch. On the plus side, however, classes were probably suspended for three months while the match went on.
Quaffles and Hoops
The Quaffle is a red basketball-like object that is thrown by the players into one of three hoops. The manner in which it is played is similar to playing basketball using jetpacks, but instead of a jetpack, one must play while straddling a wooden object that looks disconcertingly like a wooden phallus.
While Quaffles are used to score, Bludgers are not, except if there is a separate tally for the most number of femurs broken per team. Bludgers are small, black, iron balls that have been enchanted to attack the players, and whose main goal is to unseat as much players as possible. Rowling may be sugarcoating what the Bludgers really are here, but it is clear what she's set loose upon the poor Quidditch players of Hogwarts: guided cannonballs. Guided cannonballs.
See that ominous, cannonball-looking thing back there? It's not being ominous for nothing.
The aforementioned phallus shaped objects, which are also one of the most important pieces of the game. Broomsticks are sticks endowed with magical power, which are used to fly around the Quidditch pitch. Different broomstick variations exist, such as Harry Potter's Nimbus 2000 (and, later the Firebolt), a line of broomstick models called the Cleansweeps, and the Bluebottle, among others. Each of these units are united by their noble purpose of allowing Quidditch players to play a airborne version of stick-horse.
The Golden Snitch
Contrary to popular belief, the Golden Snitch is not Eddie 'The Snitch' Malonzo, an FBI informant who drowned in a gold smelting factory. The smallest and most elusive ball of the game, the Golden Snitch is a golden ball with wings, that must be caught for the game to end. The Snitch is a tiny golden ball that flies like a hummingbird powered by a combination of diarrhea and no restroom around for a twelve-mile radius.
Keepers serve as the goalies of the game, whose purpose is to block the Quaffle from entering the three hoops.Harry Potter's best friend Ron Weasley played as a Chaser, but his career is soon cut short because of his gingerness, as well as an assassination attack during their sixth year (perhaps also due to his gingerness.)
The main role of the Beaters are to hit the Bludgers with iron bats, driving them away from the players and into the opposing team. There are two Beaters on each team, which leads to higher chances of double homicide cases. Beaters are chosen for their intense accuracy, ability to hit Bludgers, and sheer remorselessness at firing a cannonball at a living person.
Chasers, on the other hand, are the main scorers of the game. Comprising three of the seven members of a Quidditch team, their job is to get the Quaffle into the hoops guarded by the opposing team's Keeper, while avoiding the Chasers of the other team. As such, they are the most important players in the team.
If a Seeker were reverse-Inkspelled into this world and managed to read this sentence, he would say "Fuck the Chasers - I'm the most important player." In fact, this may very well prove to be true. Despite the fact that Chasers score more often, the Seeker's role is to catch the Snitch that ends the match, gaining a solid 150 points for the team. In the books, there is only one time that the Chasers were good enough to score enough points to win the match even if the other side caught the Snitch, and that was in the freakin' Quidditch World Cup.
If the Seeker so desired, he could just dick around, not catching the Snitch for twenty solid hours while his teammates fell off their brooms one by one because of sheer exhaustion. All because they didn't hail him as the super ultimate mega best player ever.
Why? Because fuck you, that's why.
To be fair, Quidditch matches held at Hogwarts enable players to represent the pride of their respective teams, as well as show the other side who the little bitches really are. To be unfair, Harry Potter has received enough injuries during his Quidditch matches to be given a Bronze Star for grave injury, and a Mental Insitutution Recommendation for his sheer idiocy to keep playing year after year.
Among some of Harry Potter's injuries throughout his career in Quidditch:
- Catches Snitch in mouth, thereby becoming at risk of choking on foreign objects
- Arm broken by Bludger, enchanted by a magical elf. Using magic.
- Same arm deboned, enchanted by a wizard with a magic wand. Using magic.
- Attacked by life-sucking creatures called Dementors, falls one hundred feet from the air, thereby becoming at risk of being the first wizard Jackson Pollock painting.
- Hit by Bludger to head and knocked out, thereby gaining a skull fracture, concussion, and risk of intercranial hemorrhage.
Forget Voldemort - if he had just let Harry Potter continue to play Quidditch, then heavily sabotaged the game, sooner or later he'd be dead from Falling-From-a-Broomstick-and-Attacked-by-a-Sentient-Cannonball Disease.
Observe these two words: 'Muggle' and 'Quidditch'. Observe them very well. These two words are as absurd as Bat-Shark Repellant, and twice as emasculating. Saying these words in a room full of Staff Sgt. Max Fightmasters would cost you your wallet, at least one row of teeth, and your life. Like the words 'Sonny' and 'Cher', or 'Sack of Mentos' and 'Gallon of Diet Coke', you just know those two words are going to cause humiliation and trouble for all those involved.
This is Quidditch in real life. Do you see now? DO YOU SEE?
Muggle Quidditch is an attempt to transfer the experience of Quidditch into a real-life sport. However, players are left without the satisfaction of dealing broomstick-related havoc from above the skies - instead, Muggle Quidditch has the players running around, wedging broomsticks between their legs, trying not to lose their Quaffle and sense of dignity. If you're asking why the players need to jam the broomsticks in close proximity to their crotches, because fuck the janitors. In analogy, attempting to recreate Quidditch is like trying to make The Mona Lisa out of six pieces of crayon and a crumpled piece of paper - it's possible, but you can be sure it will definitely be more sucky than the original.
Although you do have to give the International Quidditch Association points for featuring a giganta-boner on the front of their logo.
Since its unfortunate conception in 2005, Muggle Quidditch has spread to around 300 high schools and around 400 colleges, including Harvard and MIT. One can only imagine how the permission to form the Quidditch club went, although it is likely that the dean rejected a wastebasket's worth of requests before realizing that these students, were, in fact, sober and that the request was not a prank. Although admittedly the sport has fostered friendship and healthy competition, as well as a chance to combine love of literature with physical exercise, the fact also remains that most of these people are playing while sporting what appears to be giant wooden dongs.
Fly high, you brave Quidditch player - oh wait, you can't. We'll just wait for the personal jetpacks to be invented.