Quidditch has only just recently become a sport, in large part thanks to the popularity of Harry Potter. The sport of quidditch is played in the Harry Potter book series by JK Rowling. In the books, players use magical brooms flying around, trying to score points. It has since moved from the books to the non-magical world for everyone to play. The sport has seen enormous popularity among college campuses where schools have formed club teams to compete against other schools. There is even a National Championship played each year.
In a quidditch match, two teams consisting of seven field players attempt to score the most points. Those seven players include the goalie, three chasers, two beaters, and one seeker. Points can be scored by the chasers throwing the quaffle (volleyball) through one of the three goalposts (rings). However, they can be stopped by the goalie guarding the rings or the beaters who can launch their bludgers (dodgeballs) to dispel their efforts. Quidditch games end when the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, worth 150 points.
Dodgeballs are typically used in place of bludgers in Quidditch. They are 8.5 to 10 inches in diameter and are most commonly made of a nylon or rubber material. On easily accessible websites like Amazon, packs with up to six dodgeballs are sold from $30 to $35. In the Harry Potter series, bludgers are enchanted balls that are hit by players in the game (beaters) towards their opponents. Their goal is to use the dodgeballs to attack the opposition. Only the beaters are allowed to throw bludgers during game play.
Broomsticks in Quidditch are exactly what they sound like: broomsticks! Each athlete has to play the game with a broomstick between their legs as they run. Oftentimes, players will actually use household brooms as long as they fall within the regulated size constraints of 32 to 42 inches in pole length. The pole has to be made of a hard material and the broom must have typical bristles on the back end. Household brooms typically cost around $25 dollars in sets but players in college Quidditch can order more custom brooms that can have costs upwards of $50 dollars depending on the seller. Players are not allowed to strike others with their brooms.
Protective padding or guards in Quidditch have strict rules. If referees can hear a distinct knocking sound when performing uniform inspections, that item has to be removed. However, one exception to this rule is cups. Athletic cups range in sizes from small to extra large and can typically be found in the $10 price range. They're made to be flexible and shock absorbent for the comfort and protection of the wearer.
Goggles fall into the category of permitted protective clothing. They also range in sizes depending on whether the wearer is male, female, an adult or a child. They are most often made of shatterproof glass to serve their purpose in contact sports like Quidditch. Goggles in all sports can be simply protective from contact or the sun or can be used in place of prescription glasses. In the first case, this piece of equipment does not typically ghost more than $20 or $30 on Amazon. However, prescription goggles can cost several hundred dollars depending on the eyeglass vendor and prescription in question is it is important to be dedicated to wearing them during play before investing in them.
Although Harry Potter memorabilia isn't required to play a game of Quidditch, players are usually enthusiastic about the series and want to add elements of fun and magic into their game play. It isn't atypical to see players in a casual game sporting the crests of their Hogwarts houses while on the pitch or even as fans in the stands. In college quidditch programs, although they are not officially under the rule of collegiate athletics, there are usually designated jerseys to be worn but that doesn't stop fan enthusiasm. Harry Potter merchandise can be purchased at a variety of online stores, with higher quality items coming from the official Harry Potter store.
Headbands are a critical part of a Quidditch match. They are used to distinguish between the types of players on the field. Between the keeper, beaters, chasers and the seeker, there are too many players in a game at one time to remember their roles without some kind of indicator of who they are. Typically, green is for the keeper, white is for the chasers, black is worn by beaters and gold (or yellow) is worn by the seeker. The headband must be clearly distinguishable from each of the other colors to avoid confusion and be thick enough to be seen from across the pitch. Packs of colored headbands can cost around $20 from Nike or Adidas.
Each hoop in Quidditch is a different size. While the ring itself is the same size at an average of 33 inches in regulation, each post erecting the hoop is a different height. Individually, they are 3ft, 4.5ft and 6ft. These sets of hoops stand at each end of the pitch and are guarded by each team's keeper. The tallest hoops are always in the center of the sets. As long as they meet these requirements, it is not uncommon for the common Quidditch player to use homemade hoops. However, they are available for purchase at stores like Precision Quidditch with prices of sets costing over $200.
Jerseys in Quidditch function as they do in any other team sport; they act as identifiers for each team. Any color of jersey is allowed with the strict exception of yellow or gold to avoid confusion with the player acting as the Golden Snitch. Profesional jersey material is often quite expensive so it is not uncommon for Quidditch leagues to make use of mesh over shirts as their team markers. Players are allowed to have their name and a number on the back of jerseys in established leagues like in most professional sports.
Megaphones are important in Quidditch because in the Harry Potter series, it is commonplace to have the play-by-play announcer describe the game and/or score updates in real time to the audience in the stadium. A quality megaphone will typically be sold for $30 on retailer sites like Amazon. It's important to remember batteries when buying your megaphone! Your fans won't be able to hear the announcer without them.
Mouthguards are another type of protective equipment that fall under regulation in Quidditch. They're often used in contact sports to protect the wearer from any damage to their teeth. They are usually made from a shock absorbent material with a plastic shell. Quality mouthguards can be sold individually for around $10 to $15 but packs are also available for the same amount of money to account for an entire team roster.
Volleyballs take the place of the quaffle in our version of Quidditch. Being the only ball in the Harry Potter series version of the game that isn't enchanted, our quaffles function very similarly. They are meant to be light and lofty balls that can be easily passed between chasers and thrown through the opposing team's hoops, past their keeper. These balls cannot be more than 26 inches in circumference and must have panels of leather material. Wilson and NCAA regulated volleyballs can cost up to $40 but smaller brands sell unofficial balls for $10 on sites like Amazon. During play, chasers are only allowed to throw the ball to each other or at the keeper in an attempt to get it past them.
Like in most professional sports, whistles are used for referees to call attention to penalties or any other stoppage in play. They are a necessity, especially in contact sports, for the safety of the players and upholding the rules. A typical referee whistle is made of metal or plastic with a lanyard to keep it hanging around one's neck. On Amazon, packs of whistles sell for under $10 dollars. It's always important to have a backup whistle on hand at a game in case of multiple referees or an emergency of any kind.
Whatever scoreboard your Quidditch team chooses to use, whether it be digital or manual, the most important thing to remember is that it has three digits of space for each team. When the Snitch is caught, that team receives 150 points and ends the game. This is why it is critical that there is space for over 150 points! It is guaranteed that one player will end the game by catching the Snitch and you have to be able to account for that. Manual flip scoreboards are the most common for Quidditch leagues and can be sold for around $15.
In Quidditch, the Snitch is dressed all in yellow. Their objective is to avoid each team's seeker to keep the game in play. What is so important about the shorts that the Snitch wears is that they must have a tennis ball attached to their waistband. Like in flag football, the only way to catch the Snitch is to grab that tennis ball off of the Snitch's uniform. The standard tennis ball is 2.5 inches in diameter. This seems small but that's the point! The Snitch is supposed to be incredibly hard to catch so the tennis ball is the smallest ball in the game. A case of three tennis balls can be bought for as low as $5 as quality is not as essential.
Quidditch is played on a grass or Astroturf surface. The pitch is 60 yards long and 36 yards wide. It is shaped almost like an oval and divided into several parts. There is a keeper's zone where the keeper is allowed to act like a goaltender directly in front of each goal line and set of hoops. A midfield line divides the two teams' areas of protection and attack. These parameters can be drawn temporarily with chalk or more permanently with lawn paint.
There are no regulations about the kind of water bottles Quidditch players can use in a match but it is imperative that every player stay hydrated. Quidditch is a contact sport that is almost always played in an outdoor environment which can lead to sweat and dehydration. Plastic or metal reusable water bottles are easy to come by, inexpensive and so essential for healthy players and a good time.
Wristbands serve a similar purpose as headbands. They have to match the color of the position each player is in and cannot be mistaken for another color on the pitch, especially the Snitch. They are often considered supplemental but helpful in providing clarity for who is who in a game. Multi-colored packs of wristbands are sold at around $15 dollars so every member of each team can have their own.
Given the intricate rules, several pieces of equipment are unique to the sport of quidditch. You'll need the goalposts, a volleyball for the quaffle, three dodgeballs for the bludgers, brooms for players, a snitch sock, and various safety equipment. Mouthguards, cups, and goggles are all recommended in the physical sport. Finally, to differentiate the team and players, jerseys and headbands are a good call.
To play quidditch you will need hoops, a quaffle, three bludgers, and broomsticks for all the players. The hoops are typically made of plastic and can be purchased online or homemade. A quaffle is simply a deflated volleyball while the bludgers are kickballs. The broomstick doesn't have to be a broomstick, and it just needs to be a rod of some sort.
If you wanted to, you could use homemade items, but for the sake of showing the max cost of the sport we'll total all of the prices for the equipment needed.
With quidditch it is probably a good idea to substitute some of these items to minimize the cost. The rings can be made by mounting a hula hoop on a rod. The quaffles and bludgers can be changed to any available sports ball. The snitch sock is just a tennis ball inside of a sock, and brooms can be just a stick or a plastic rod.
Quidditch is a unique game that brings in a lot of equipment that isn't used in other sports. Several of the items that are in the sport are not reusable in other sports. So when you're purchasing the equipment, it's important to note that you'll be buying it solely for quidditch.