From Fantasy to Reality: How to Play Quidditch

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Entertainment

If you are anything like me, you knew about Quidditch long before you knew about most regular sports. Watching Harry and Malfoy speed after the golden snitch in the first movie had me fantasizing about having the same experience, something the video games could never truly accomplish. But, Quidditch has evolved from purely fictional to a fully functional sport with 22 teams in Canada and leagues at national and international levels. 

In recent years, the International Quidditch Association (IQA) changed the name from Quidditch to Quadball. They don’t own the trademark for Quidditch–the inventor of the game, J.K. Rowling does. The organization, now called Major League Quadball (MLQ) also wanted to distance themselves from Rowling after her series of controversial tweets and blog posts.

Photo of a Quadball game at IQA. Credit: IQA

The game has five positions: chasers, beaters, keepers, seekers and the golden snitch. Each match starts with three chasers, two beaters and a keeper on each team. Chasers attempt to get a slightly deflated volleyball called a quaffle through one of three hoops on the opposing end of the field. The two lower hoops to the left and right are worth 10 points, while the taller hoop in the middle is worth 20. Beaters will attempt to stop chasers by throwing dodgeballs (bludgers) at them. When a player is hit with the bludger, they must stop what they’re doing and return to their goal zone before getting back into the action. 

In the last quarter of the game, the snitch and seekers enter the field. The snitch isn’t part of either team and undergoes intense training to ensure they aren’t playing favourites. Their job is to run away from each team’s seeker, who must grab a small ball attached to the snitch’s shorts via a sling. When a seeker captures this ball, they score 30 points for their team and the game ends. Capturing the golden snitch, while not a guaranteed win, can be the deciding factor in a close game. 

To make the sport harder, and in keeping with the Harry Potter novel series, every player but the snitch must have a broomstick (this is usually a fibreglass pole in MLQ league) between their legs throughout the game. Having the broomstick between your legs signifies that you’re  “flying” and cannot be tackled (though bull rushing and half-tackles are still allowed while “in the air”). When “grounded”, you can be tackled from any direction except behind for safety reasons. 

If you’re interested in joining a Quadball team, the Edmonton Aurors Quidditch Club happily welcomes new players. You can contact them through email at, at, or through social media.

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