Quidditch is a no-contact sport played by running on a field with a broomstick held firmly between the player's legs. The objective is to have your team's offensive players (Chasers) score as many goals as possible within the play period and then to retrieve the Snitch at the very end of regulation in order to secure a win.
Over the past decade, Quidditch has grown rapidly across campuses all over the world, with a rich history in folklore dating back to 1050 A.D. First made globally popular in 1997 with the release of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the game has continued to remain relevant even after the end of Rowling's series. With many aspects of the original adapted to the playable version today, it's a new and exciting sport to play with leveled competition.
Quidditch is primarily played on a large sized field comparable to a football field or soccer field. This means a width of 160ft to 180ft and a length of 480ft to 500ft, but as long as you have enough space to run around and get active the game will still function the same way. The field is the shape of an oval and has three indicator lines on it. There's one at half-field to distinguish the two halves with a face-off circle in the middle. Then there are two arcs placed 10 feet ahead of the goal posts, which you can't pass when shooting. Out-of-bounds rules are comparable to other sports.
There are five balls on the field at any given time. The most common ball on the field is the bludger; the bludger is used to defend the goal by pegging the offensive players and is often represented by dodgeballs. There are three bludgers on the field, so whichever team is in control of two of them is usually directing the gameplay as they have a defensive edge. When a Chaser is hit by a bludger they have to run back to their own goal post and touch it before resuming play. Then there is the quaffle, a singular volleyball on the field that is shot through any of the suspended hoops for a total of 10 points. Lastly, there is the snitch, a tennis ball hanging off the torso of the Snitch Runner which is worth 30 points if you are able to steal it from them. Other than the balls, all that is needed to play Quidditch is the poles and hoops to create the goals and a broom to fly on!
Each team is comprised of seven players who each play a different role in the game depending on their classification. Players are restricted from using certain balls such as the bludgers and the golden snitch due to these positions. The offense is played by the "Chasers" and there are three Chasers on each team fighting for control of the Quaffle to shoot it through a hoop in order to bring their team an additional 10 points, regardless of the hoop height. Then there are two "Beaters" which are tasked with throwing the Bludgers at their opponents to make them return to their goalposts before continuing play, the beaters are the team's main defense along with the keeper. The goalie position is called the "Keeper" in Quidditch and they are responsible for guarding the goals, they are the only ones allowed inside of the crease in front of the goals. Lastly, the "Seeker" is in charge of chasing the Snitch and stealing it to bring additional points associated with capturing it to their team. Each team has one seeker and they compete against each other to catch the Snitch, which is an unaffiliated player dressed in yellow evading the seekers of both teams. Once the Snitch is taken by one of the teams the game concludes unless the additional 30 points ties the score, in which case the game will go to overtime.
Additionally, there is a gender maximum rule which states there must not be higher than a 4:3 ratio for either gender when creating unisex teams in order to keep competition fair.
Scoring in Quidditch is most similar to shooting a basketball or kicking a field goal in football. The posts at either end of the field are lined up in a group of three with varying heights topped with circles that are two to three feet in diameter. If the Chasers are able to get in within range without being hit by a bludger then they are able to shoot the Quaffle. While keeping one hand on the broomstick to keep it above the ground, the chaser then throws the ball towards the vertical hoop. If the Quaffle goes through the hoop then an additional 10 points are added to the team's score. In quidditch, you can shoot from anywhere on the field as long as it is in front of the opposing team's crease in front of their goal. The reason that Quidditch utilizes a crease and a keeper is because the hoops are 10-15 feet in the air, so although the keeper can assist with defense it is impossible to actually guard in front of the hoops themselves.
The other way to score in Quidditch is through retrieving the snitch from the runner in the final minutes of play. After the runner is released they can run anywhere in and around the play space in order to make the teams use a strategy rather than speed to catch the snitch. Once the Snitch (tennis ball in a sock) is taken from the waistband of the runner, the 30 points are added to the scoreboard and the winner is decided
In the regulation period, which is the first 18 minutes of play, the goals being scored count towards the final total of the game, however, the most important part of the game is the catching of the Snitch. At the end of regulation, the scores are totaled for each team and the hunt for the Snitch begins as it is released from the sidelines. Depending on the score of the game at the end of regulation the Snitch is weighted the same as three goals during regulation so the winner is decided regularly off which team is able to secure it safely first. After the Snitch is captured the player brings it back to the scorer's table at which point the scores are tallied again and the winner is crowned as the game concludes.
The game regularly runs around 20 minutes with the release of the snitch occurring at the end of the 18th minute. Quidditch begins when the players of each team line up in front of If the game is still tied after the capture of the snitch overtime occurs and is played through a five minute sudden death period. In this case, both teams compete to score the most additional points by throwing the Quaffle through the hoops. Additionally, the substitutions during the game are up to the discretion of the team captain.
Lastly, fouling in Quidditch is quite similar to fouling in Soccer. A Level one foul results in the offender stopping their play to return to their hoops before resuming play. A level two foul results in a yellow card and a one minute stay in the penalty. Similarly to soccer, a red card in Quidditch results in the ejection of the offending player from the competition.