Quidditch is ready to drop Harry Potter to become a real sport

Inspired by the world of Harry Potter, Quidditch has conquered about forty countries, but this wand-athlete UFO wants to free itself from the famous wizard and become a specialty in its own right.

In JK Rowling’s novels, players spin their broomsticks to throw a ‘cuff’ through the rings, dodge ‘bludgers’ and pick up a ‘golden snitch’ to finish the match. In 2005, American students created a version of gravity-exposed “Mugglins” (non-magic), mixing aspects of handball and rugby, as well as schoolyard games. Gradually, the discipline became codified and regulated within the national federations and official leagues, such as the Coupe de France that competed the previous weekend in Angers. Some discovered the sport during university exchanges abroad, others discovered during gatherings of Harry Potter fans, and still others find training in a garden …

In the courts, the caps and hats of the wizards of the first adherents almost disappeared, as well as the references to the wizarding world on the T-shirts. “We come for Harry Potter, we stay for the sport,” insists Cedric Chellane, the 38-year-old coach of the France national team. The former handball player, who plays for the Frogs de Paris, boasts of the physical aspect, the beautiful atmosphere and the complexity of strategies. But the magician’s vocabulary remained, as did brooms, in the form of plastic sticks.

fucking boy? Not at all, assures Tiffin Paskeru, 32, the communications officer for the French Federation and vice-president of elephants in Nantes, who arrived in Quidditch after 15 years of judo. “Not to pretend to steal. It’s a handicap, the same way you have to dribble to advance in handball or reverse in rugby. It forces you to tackle balls with one hand, to tackle with one hand.” From the edge of the field, she chases after her team: “Fabien, priority of chaos! Maëva, you protect your information!”

Quidditch is still a secret game in France, and it is flourishing in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Last weekend, the Coupe de France was contested in Angers and at the end of July, in Ireland, the European Championship will take place. The stakes are real: France was crowned in 2019, and has a title to defend after two years off

changing the name

Like the instructions, the game may seem confusing for beginners. Moreover, a minimum of five referees and assistants ensure compliance with the rules. On each team, four chasers seek to pass the volleyball into the opposing rings, two batsmen try to take them out of play temporarily by shooting them with dribbling balls (dribbling or dribbling) and after 18 minutes, a play seeker comes in to try and grab a snitch. Not having a small gold ball with fluffy wings like in the movies, the gold snitch is a tennis ball tucked into a sock and strapped to a neutral runner’s shorts dressed all in yellow. Actions are fast, races are steady, bumps are sometimes harsh, and changes are frequent. The peculiarity of the game: Teams must be mixed, with a maximum of four players of the same gender participating at the same time.

The practice is still clandestine in France, with 200 to 300 followers within dozens of active teams, and is thriving in the US, Australia, UK and Germany. So much so that a name change is being considered in the United States in order to be able to continue development without going through Warner, the company that owns the rights to the Harry Potter universe. This development must also be accompanied by the creation of squads of young people, so as not to let discipline wither while the generation feeds on the Harry Potter eras.

Meanwhile, Cedric Schellan is improving his selection these days for the European Championships to be organized at the end of July in Ireland, after two years of interruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The bets are real: France crowned in 2019 has a title to defend.

Fanny Carrier / AFP

Inspired by the world of Harry Potter, Quidditch has conquered about forty countries, but this wand-wielding athletic UFO wants to break free from the famous wizard and become a system in its own right. In J.K. Rowling’s novels, players spin broomsticks to shoot a “quaffle” through the rings, avoiding…

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