By Elton Gomes
It looks like Italy is making up for its absence in the FIFA World Cup in spectacular fashion with the fourth edition of the Quidditch World Cup which began two days ago in Florence. The real tournament of the fictitious sport will conclude on July 2, and will see a total of 29 teams participating.
The Quidditch World Cup occurs twice a year. The game’s objective is simple – obtain the most points via scoring goals by passing balls through rings, or via catching the “snitch” or the special ball. If you’re a die-hard Potterhead, you will know that a snitch has wings, however, in the Quidditch World Cup, the snitch is attached to a snitch runner’s waistband.
— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) June 28, 2018
No, the players don’t actually fly
Although the players do not fly, they do run around with broomsticks between their legs. All other rules at the Quidditch World Cup are the same as depicted in Harry Potter movies and books.An Australian quidditch player in action against the Netherlands. Australia beat the Netherlands 220-0. Image Credit: Facebook/Quidditch Australia
In an interview with the Associated Press, Australia’s assistant coach, Liam McCoppin, said, “Quidditch is a wonderful game. It’s honestly so exciting to watch as a viewer, so much happening.” McCoppin added, “There are four balls [and] often you don’t know where to look, and the athletes that play, the people who play, males and females, they’re very strong, very fast.”
McCoppin further lauded the diversity in the sport of Quidditch,“The most important thing about Quidditch is diversity, its inclusivity,” McCoppin said. “It’s a mixed sport, mixed gender sport, so we’ve got males, females and also non-binary people.”
Quidditch World Cup 2018 will kick off in Italy on Saturday with Muggles ready to play the Harry Potter-inspired sport. pic.twitter.com/apAzurQXH9
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 29, 2018
When Quidditch is played in real life, three chasers attempt to get a ball through the opposition’s hoops to earn 10 points. The three hoops are placed at varying heights, similar to those in Harry Potter books and movies.
Teams use their keepers to prevent each other from scoring. In addition, they can also prevent each other by having their beaters use “bludgers,” which is a dodgeball. If a player gets hit by a bludger, he/she has to “dismount” their broom and drop any ball in their possession. A player hit by a bludger cannot play again until they return to and touch their hoops before being eligible to play again.
Each team’s seeker attempts to catch the snitch. As the snitch is attached to a runner’s waistband, the snitch runner tries and avoids capture for the longest possible time. The game ends when a seeker catches the snitch. However, the team with the snitch might not necessarily be the winner.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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