You're a wizard, Harry

May

07

Another weird Commit to Get Fit update from MPS!

Hats off to SussexSport again for the unusual but very welcome inclusion of Quidditch in the lineup this year!

This works beautifully for a team like MPS, partly because of the number of the team who would count themselves in Dumbledore's Army, maybe more because of the weirdness which we seems to give us a kick.

What on Earth is Quidditch?

To explain to those with better things to do with your lives, Quidditch is a sport based on a fantasy creation from J.K.Rowling for the Harry Potter series.

In the wizard world, quidditch is played on broomsticks, with a series of balls, hoops and rules too complicated to go through in a blog post (the wiki page for Quidditch gives a good overview - note there is a different page for "muggle quidditch").

Hobby Horse Race

In the real-world version - also known as Muggle Quidditch - the teams follow similar rules but have to resort to non-magical implements in place of broomsticks, along the lines of hobby horses. Whooshing noises are optional.

There are still a series of balls to throw in hoops and at each other, if you aren't too distracted by the sight of adults running round screaming with a plastic rod between their thighs.

 

If you want a real overview of the real-world inter-collegiate American sport, I recommend a film called "Mudbloods".

Wizard Apprentices 

We got 4 of the team to come along to the sports centre and participate in the weirdness, Becky (Team Captain), Naomi, Sinead and me. The session started with some warm up dodgeball - splitting into two teams and flinging balls across the sports hall. 

After we'd dodged and flung for a few minutes, we learned these were the bludgers, used to stop offensive players in their tracks with a hope to switch the attack to the other team.

We then got started with some practice matches, adding rules in over time, until we had a rough approximation of a real-life muggle quidditch match. Yes that sentence does make sense.

Some tape markings on the walls were used to mark the goals so that we knew where to aim the quaffle. The rules were applied in a slightly lax fashion, which was essential for beginners but dangerous for the over-competitive, who took the match a little too seriously.

One feature that we couldn't get to was the golden snitch but we were all so tired by that point adding in another "now run some more" rule may have killed us.

Broomstick Swap

We didn't get to the stage of having every member of the team on broomsticks (attacking players in our limited rules game) but that was welcome. Becoming a broomstick rider was a risky and exhausting undertaking. The game moved quickly between the two ends of the pitch and several collisions and barges had left us rather sore. 

I had to sit out for the final round, as several falls had hurt my ankles and I have the physical capacity of an asthmatic smoker (ahem), however the rest of my team were far more hardy and athletic than me so scored us some points.

The workout certainly did me some good and the game itself was remarkably sensible when you take away all the ridiculous terminology - yes, I realise the words used in this post make it look like a foray into Spike Milligan's mind, but the game is not that dissimilar to basketball crossed with dodgeball at the level we played.

Team Report

Anyway, enough of me yammering on, let's hear what the rest of the team though about it:

Becky (Team Captain)

Who knew a game based on a children’s book could be quite so intense? We are all broken today, there are three John Wayne’s hobbling around the office! Quidditch was definitely an experience, I think I enjoyed it….

Naomi

You can’t beat running around a sports court with a plastic “broom” between your legs, whilst simultaneously dodging bludgers and trying to score with the quaffle (no golden snitch was present at this game). I’m in a surprising amount of pain today but boy was that fun!

Sinead

Fantastic sport. Really fun and suitable for all ages. Although those with more aggressive tendencies do get the opportunity to injure the opposition quite regularly. Perhaps some need to enjoy it a bit more and take it less seriously!! But I loved it.


All round a positive reception to Quidditch - more like that please SussexSport!


Photos from the session can be viewed in the frame below:

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