Quidditch team ready for Keele encounter

Posted on 08 March 2012

The University of Leicester Muggle Quidditch club heads to Keele University this Saturday for first match of the season

It's a game usually played by fictional wizards on flying brooms, but that hasn't stopped enthusiastic fans developing Quidditch into a real, non-magical sport. Now the sport is taking off, Keele University and Leicester University teams will meet this Saturday.

The  match will be the first inter-university contest in the UK, played to the official IQA (International Quidditch Association) rules. The Leicester Lovegoods will take to their brooms against rivals Avada Keeledavra for a best-of-three competition.

Quidditch is the invention of author JK Rowling, and features in the world-famous Harry Potter novels. The Muggle (non-magical) version was developed by students in the USA, where the sport has become hugely popular.

Rob Barringer, Assistant Coach of the Keele University team Avada Keeledavra, has been preparing his team for the encounter.

"Keele Quidditch is extremely excited about the upcoming match against the Leicester," Rob said. "We've been putting in a few more days' practice this week with some fitness drills, so we should be able to produce a bit of a spectacle on Saturday. We're looking forward to seeing how Leicester cope against us, and for their sake I hope they're ready!"

Rob is keen to draw attention to the novel sport and hopes it will take off across the UK. Several UK universities have already established Quidditch teams.

"Hopefully we'll pull a bit of a crowd on Saturday and show people what Quidditch is all about, fun and competitiveness, rather than the stereotypical view of Harry Potter addicts running around in capes!" Rob said.

Unlike the fictional version, Muggle Quidditch is played on the ground: players grasp a broom between their legs and try to score points by shooting volleyballs through hoops.

The snitch - a magical golden ball with wings - is replaced by a person all in yellow with a tennis ball in a sock tucked into their belt. Players chase the snitch around the pitch and surrounding areas to score extra points and end the game.

University of Leicester students are enthusiastic about the sport's social and health benefits. Luke Hubbard, a second year Criminology student, said: "I joined Quidditch because I'm a massive Harry Potter fan. It's a sport with no try-outs, so anyone can just turn up, have fun, and meet new people. It's a good way to keep fit as well."

The match takes place at Keele University on Saturday 10 March at 1pm, on the University sports field.


Notes for editors:

For more information about the Leicester Lovegoods, contact team captain Jack Hill on 07864 186436 or email on jh412@le.ac.uk

For more information about Avada Keeledavra and the Keele University club, please contact Rob Barringer on keelequidditch@gmail.com or call 07935 696 651