Quidditch for Muggles
by William Jackson on 2007-01-07
Quidditch is a ballgame popular among magical folk. It involves several balls of different size and composition, and flying on broomsticks.
In recent years, muggles (non-magical folk) have taken an interest in the game and attempted to adapt it to their physical (and magical) limitations. Unfortunately, muggles do not have the luxury of magical balls or magical broomsticks.
A few forms of indoor and outdoor Muggle Quidditch have arisen. This document will explain the rules of play for one style of indoor Muggle Quidditch. For alternatives, including outdoor styles, see the Wikipedia article on Muggle Quidditch.
This document will be easier to understand if the reader is already familiar with the rules of traditional Quidditch.
First, there are the balls. You will need
- one soccer ball (hereafter referred to as the Quaffle);
- two soft balls (thatʼs soft balls, not softballs) about six inches in diameter (hereafter referred to as the Bludgers);
- and one rubber high-bounce ball, 1-2 inches in diameter (hereafter referred to as the Golden Snitch).
You will need four brooms, one for each seeker and one for each keeper. Use of the brooms will be explained later.
You will need four bats, one for each beater. For safetyʼs sake the bats should be foam, like these bats on Amazon.com. (The balls that come with those bats make good Bludgers, too.)
You will need at least two hula hoops, for the goals. Traditional Quidditch has three goal hoops per side, but in our version we will use the basketball hoop for one goal and the hula hoop for another, with only two goal hoops per side.
You will also need two oven mitts. I will explain later.
The game is played best on a basketball court, or any other similar-sized area with a hardwood floor and walls.
Hula hoops are mounted on opposite walls, using duct tape, balance, or any other means necessary. If the Quaffle cannot pass through the hoop, points are awarded for the Quaffle hitting the wall inside the hoop.
Each team is composed of seven players: a keeper, three chasers, two beaters, and a seeker. In addition to the two teams, at least five other people are required.
All players wear socks. No shoes allowed!
The Keeper, the Chasers, and the Quaffle
The match begins with a toss-up of the Quaffle between two opposing chasers, at the center of the pitch, by a non-pitch participant. The two Bludgers are immediately thrown into play, one toward each side.
The chasers pass the Quaffle between themselves, moving it down the pitch, and attempt to pass it through one of the opposing teamʼs goal hoops. When a chaser is in possession of the Quaffle, he must leave one foot planted on the floor. He can pivot and turn, but he cannot advance down the pitch.
No other player may attempt to force the Quaffle from the hands of a chaser.
The keeper defends his teamʼs goal hoops, using any part of his body and his broomstick, if necessary. The Quaffle is the only ball he should (intentionally) touch.
Chasers and keepers are the only players who can pick the Quaffle up off the floor.
Ten points are awarded each time a team manages to pass the Quaffle through the opposing teamʼs hoop. If the keeper accidentally knocks the Quaffle through his own hoop, points are still awarded.
The Beaters and the Bludgers
The beaters are the only players who can pick a Bludger up off the floor. They use their bats to launch the Bludgers toward other players. When a beater has a Bludger in his hand, he cannot move. He must launch the Bludger (using his bat) from his current position. A beater cannot launch a Bludger with anything except his bat.
A beater cannot launch a Bludger at a keeper. A beater can, however, launch a Bludger at the opposing beaters, chasers, and seeker.
If any player is hit by a Bludger (other than the keeper, of course), that player must retreat to the nearest sideline and wait thirty seconds before resuming play. Once a Bludger hits the floor, it is not “dangerous” until it is picked up and launched by a beater. If a Bludger bounces from one player to another, both players have been hit and must sit out for thirty seconds.
Beware friendly fire. If a beater launches a Bludger and it hits one of his teammates, the player that is hit must still sit out for thirty seconds.
The Seeker and the Golden Snitch
The seeker and the Golden Snitch are the most difficult aspects of Quidditch for muggles to simulate. Keep in mind that the following circumstances have been designed to make it intentionally difficult for a seeker to catch the Snitch.
A seeker has a broomstick that he must keep between his legs at all times, but he cannot touch the broomstick with his hands while moving. If he is about to lose the broomstick, he can stop and use his hands to re-adjust, but that is all. He cannot travel if either of his hands are on the broomstick.
The seeker can only use one hand to catch the Golden Snitch. The seeker must choose which hand to use before the match begins, and wear an oven mitt on that hand.
Several non-pitch participants are required to facilitate the “flying” of the Golden Snitch. When the match begins, at least five “Snitch-throwers” surround the outside of the playing area. One of them holds the Golden Snitch. About ninety seconds into the game, that person throws the Snitch. The seekers chase it as it bounces off the walls and floor. The other Snitch-throwers also come on the pitch and try to catch the Snitch.
If a seeker catches the Snitch, 150 points are awarded to that seekerʼs team and the match is over. If a Snitch-thrower catches the Snitch, all Snitch-throwers return to the sidelines and the one with the Snitch waits about ninety seconds before throwing it again.
As more Muggle Quidditch matches and tournaments are organized, the rules will no doubt become standardized, and this information may change. Until then, feel free to further adapt the rules to your particular circumstances.