Quidditch is the most popular sport played by wizards. Its simple rules and attractive gameplay make it one to watch for almost anyone in the Harry Potter world… But, what exactly are the rules of Quidditch and what is its real-life equivalent?
Starting with the latter question, the popularity of this magical sport can be compared to the real world’s following of European football. Quidditch has an incredibly big fanbase. Countries have their own teams who play in the World Cup, and schools have teams playing in regional leagues as well as multiple teams within schools themselves.
Rowling clearly took inspiration from football in order to create this sport. In Quidditch, each team has 7 players, but the roles they play inside the pitch can be easily compared with those played in football.
The most similar position is the Keeper. They do the exact same job as a football goalkeeper: prevent the opposing side from scoring by deflecting any ball that comes their way. Supporting the Keeper, there are also two Beaters, who are the equivalent counterparts of soccer defenders.
The Beaters don’t directly stop attacks, but they throw their whole bodies’ weight (and the defensive balls, called Bludgers) towards rivals in order to prevent them from playing comfortably. Chasers, on the other hand, are basically attacking-minded football midfielders. There are some core differences in each role, of course, but the similarities are very clear.
Quidditch is played with four different balls, but only one of them isn’t enchanted. The non-enchanted ball grants the scoring team 10 points when scoring, while the Beaters use the Bludgers to harass their rivals.
Harry Potter plays an essential role for his side, as he is a Seeker. Seekers have to catch the winged and golden ball called the Snitch, which is enchanted with a spell that makes it run indiscriminately through the pitch, avoiding capture. If a team’s seeker manages to catch the Snitch, the game instantly ends, granting the catcher’s team 150 points!
As an additional bonus… Did you know that Quidditch is played in the real world as well? The rules are the same – minus the broomstick flying!