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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quidditch: J. K. Rowling’s Sport

"Just envision throwing the Quaffle through the goals."

In the Harry Potter novels, author J. K. Rowling invents a sport for the students to play at Hogwarts.  The game is Quidditch, and the players fly over the game field on their broomsticks.  Each player has a specialized job, and Harry’s is the most special of all.  For he plays the Seeker, and more often than not, the team whose Seeker captures the tiny flying ball called the Snitch will win the game.

"Let's keep those broomsticks high, everyone!"

At Stan Lee’s Comikaze, a section of the exhibit floor had been given over to participants to play a land-based version of Quidditch.  I’m not sure if the players fully understood the rules, or the teams needed time to work out their strategies.  It seemed to me that the players spent more time standing around and talking than they did playing.  Still, they seemed to be enjoying themselves, and I thought it a nice touch that the organizers had translated a game from J. K. Rowling’s novels into something practical that attendees could play between panels, presentations, and the other activities.

"I'm tired of being a Chaser.  Let me be the Keeper, please?"

But in that I was mistaken.  Quidditch is more than just an imaginary game played by fictional characters.  Students in universities and high schools have formed teams.  Quidditch, also known as Muggle Quidditch, is a real sport.  In addition to regional and European championships, World Cups have been held.  (The last occurred in 2011 in New York).  The International Quidditch Association proclaims that there are 798 teams in the United States, and that Quidditch is America’s fastest growing sport.  Interested in playing Quidditch?  Check out the IQA website to find a team, download rules, watch videos, and read the latest Quidditch news.

"Watch out for the Bludger!"

I’m sure J. K. Rowling never envisioned all this when she invented a sport for Harry Potter to play at Hogwarts.  But because her readers love her characters, and her novels, they made Quidditch a reality.  I may understand Quidditch no better than I understand Soccer (sorry, Football), Rugby, and Cricket, but I can't help but feel that its rising popularity serves as a wonderful testament to the important role that Fiction plays in our lives.

"I bet I could make this goal if I had a Nimbus 2000."

Some people claim there’s no magic in this world of ours.  I disagree.

Dragon Dave

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