The true magic of quidditch on display in Burnaby

Matthew Abrey / March 5, 2020

Quidditch has exploded into a sport that is now played worldwide.

(Matthew Abrey / BCIT News)

It may seem a little ridiculous to some, but for these players, it’s anything but.

SFU played host to seven quidditch teams from around the Pacific Northwest last week, including two from Washington State.

Quidditch has exploded from a mythical sport from the Harry Potter series, into a real-life sport with a massive following.

“The Western quidditch community is Canada is amazing, everyone is super close, everyone is really friendly and we all love each other.” – Jessyka Schwandt, Team Canada beater

The sport is based on the fictional sport from the Harry Potter series, written by J. K. Rowling.

The game is sometimes referred to as “muggle quidditch” in order to differentiate it from the fictional version. The broomsticks used in muggle quidditch don’t fly, but players must play with a broomstick held between their legs at all times.

Quidditch has no shortage of unique attributes, but one of the most notable is its ability to draw players who haven’t played sports before.

“It appeals to a range of athletes from all different backgrounds.”

“It’s a great community, it’s very inclusive and you get to run around outside and look like a fool. What could be better?” – Hana Travers-Smith, University of Victoria beater

The 2020 Quidditch World Cup will take place in Richmond, Virginia in July.

(Matthew Abrey / BCIT News)

The “Golden Snitch” is a key part of every quidditch match.

(Matthew Abrey / BCIT News)

Quidditch: Explained

Quidditch is a sport played by two teams of seven players, and the goal is to throw the quaffle (volleyball) through one of the opponent’s three hoops, which then scores the team 10 points. While some offensive players (also known as “chasers”) work to score, other players act as “beaters.” The bullies of the quidditch pitch, beaters throw balls called “bludgers” (dodgeballs) at the opposing team, which temporarily knock players out of the game.

And in case it couldn’t get any more confusing, at the 17-minute mark, the “golden snitch” is released, followed by a “seeker” for each team at the 18-minute mark. In the fictional sport, the golden snitch is an elusive, golf ball-sized magical flying sphere. In real life however, the golden snitch is a person with a yellow ball hanging out the back of their shorts, which is attached by a short tail. When one of the team’s seekers manages to grab the ball, the game ends, and that team receives 30 points.

The game has extended its reach across the country and the globe, with the Canadian championships taking place March 28-29 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

The 2020 Quidditch World Cup will be held July 18-19 in Richmond, Virginia.

Canada placed third at the 2014 World Cup which was hosted in Burnaby, B.C. In the most recent 2018 World Cup, Canada came ninth out of 29 teams.

The Canadian National Quidditch championship will take place in Edmonton in March.

(Matthew Abrey / BCIT News)