For the longest time, Quidditch only existed in the world J.K. Rowling created when she travelled on a train all those years ago. You could only read about Harry Potter playing Quidditch throughout his stay at Hogwarts. Now you can play Quidditch in real life!
Real world Quidditch play became a reality in 2005 when Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe developed the non-magical rules for Quidditch. Now there is even an International Quidditch Association to govern the gender-inclusive sport, although some countries also have their own governing bodies.
So how does it work and what do domes have to do with it?
Similar to the magical version of the game, there are seven players per team in non-magical Quidditch:
Chasers: There are three Chasers, and they are responsible for scoring goals with the Quaffles (volleyballs).
Beaters: There are two Beaters, and they are responsible for throwing, kicking, or otherwise hitting the other players with Bludgers (usually dodgeballs) to cause disruptions in scoring and catching the Snitch.
Keeper: Each team has one Keeper, who acts as their goalie. The only thing the Keeper needs to do is prevent the other team’s Chasers from scoring any goals in the hoops behind them.
Seeker: This is perhaps the most famous position, as it was the one Harry Potter himself played. The Seeker tries to catch the Golden Snitch and end the game!
There is one additional player in non-magical Quidditch: the Snitch Runner. This participant does not belong to any team. With the Snitch attached to their waistband, and while being fair to both teams, they run around the field evading capture for as long as possible.
The Game Rules
Now that you know the positions, you need to understand how to play!
Each player in the game rides on a broom, which they must hold with one hand in between their legs. Someone will attach the Golden Snitch (a ball in a long sock) to the Snitch Runner, who will enter the game a short time after it begins.
The Chasers work to get the Quaffle, normally a volleyball, and try to score goals in one of the opposing team’s three hoops. The hoops are located at different ends of the field, quite similar to the placement of soccer nets.
The Beaters in the game try to get one of the two Bludgers, often represented by a dodgeball, and hit one of the other team’s players (in any position) to temporarily halt their gameplay. The Beaters can throw or kick the Bludger.
The Seeker must run around the pitch, attempting to locate and take the Snitch from the Snitch Runner, all while avoiding the Bludgers.
Each goal from a Quaffle is worth ten points and the Seeker who catches the Snitch scores an additional 30 points for their team. If there is no tie when the Seeker catches the Snitch, play ends. In the event of a tie, the game will go into overtime.
Picture via Twitter @energizeguelph
Consider the Weather
Quidditch is traditionally an outdoor activity. In both the books and the films, is it played in all kinds of weather because, as we know, they have magic. So what happens when we want to play Quidditch in our world and there is a lot of snow or other unfortunate weather conditions? Thankfully, there is no reason to pack your broom away. One of Farley’s air-supported domes will do the trick! They keep the harsh conditions away, allowing you to keep the magic going all-year-round.