Broom Broom

The Story of Real Life Quidditch


Burton in a Qudditch match. Credit to: Amani Burton

People flying around on broomsticks? Though this seems like something that can only appear in movies, people are making it happen in real life.

The biggest question you might have is how do people play an imaginary sport? Well, ever since the writing of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, potterheads have introduced magical aspects to muggle life.

How it works? Obviously the quidditch players don’t fly on magical brooms because were not in the world of Harry Potter. They do however position brooms and lead pipes between their legs and run around simulating flying. The second difference between the movie quidditch and real life is the fact that in the movie the snitch is a golden orb that quickly zips by the player, in real life “It’s someone that’s wearing shorts and kind of has a tennis ball attached to them” said Burton.

Burton getting ready to pass the ball at a Qudditch match.
Credit to: Amani Burton

The game is a combination of dodgeball, soccer, hockey, basketball, and rugby according to Hufflepuff, Amani Burton who was a beater for the Arizona State quidditch team.

When asked how he got into the sport Burton responded “So,, my freshman year at Arizona State, I had a friend who was really big into Harry Potter and he noticed there have been some Quidditch practices one day on campus like our first week of school and he kind of wanted someone to tag along with him.”

“I was that person.”

To play the game you don’t have to be a fan of Harry Potter you just have to be a fan of the sport. Burton commented “I didn’t really read any of the books or anything like that, or watch the movies. So I had no idea what was going on. And it’s kind of like the whole intensity of the sport kept me coming back afterwards.”

The rules of the game are extensive. Burton commented, “You must keep the broom between your legs at all times to kind of stimulate flying.” The goal of the game is to try and score as many points as you can with the ball through the hoops. Burton said “ So it’s a strategy based game of trying to score as many points as possible while trying to avoid getting hit as a bludger and trying to avoid getting tackled and everything like that.”

When Burton played for his school’s team he practiced three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday) from like 9:30 pm to 11 pm. “So it is kind of like a very, very, very great sport if you are like an insomniac.”

Team picture after they won a Qudditich tournmant
Credit to: Amani Burto

Just like basketball, football, and other professional sports Qudditich teams have conferences. “That’s when you go and compete against other regions, kind of like how they do in March Madness, where you just get put up against other collegiate teams from different conferences.” Burton stated, “I played teams from like all over the country essentially.”

Anyone can get involved in the sport and there’s teams at Boston University, Ohio University, UCLA and pretty much every other college.

So if you’ve ever wanted to be transported from the muggle world to the magical land of Harry Potter, Quidditch is the way to do it.

Kate Youell