How does quidditch work?
Quidditch?! - How does it work? Here we explain our sport to you in a nutshell.
Progressive trend sport
Quidditch is a mixed-gender, full-contact sport that combines elements from rugby, handball, and dodgeball. It’s a dynamic and highly strategic game, where two teams of up to 7 players compete against each other. The complex rules and various player positions make quidditch exciting to watch, but can be a bit complicated for newcomers.
Good sportsmanship, inclusion, tolerance and equality are also important parts of the game. These values are not only lived by the community, but are also ensured and actively enforced by the official set of rules.
The basic rules
Players must keep a broom between their legs at all times of active play during the game. Brooms are generally made of PVC pipes and serve as a handicap and show who is allowed to actively participate in the game. (When someone is “off broom” they need to tap back into the game at one of their own hoops.)
The gender rule
Quidditch is one of the only sports that welcomes all genders on pitch, actively including and welcoming athletes that identify outside the gender binary. The Gender Rule ensures that no more than four players of the same gender are fielded at the same time, explicitly referring to the gender athletes identify with, rather than the sex assigned at birth.
Quaffle: The chasers use the quaffle (a volleyball) for scoring through one of the three goal rings. A goal is worth 10 points.
Bludgers: The bludgers are used by the beaters to take opposing players out of the game. When hit with a bludger a player must return and touch their own goal rings in order to participate in the game again, temporarily excluding them from active game play.
Snitch: The snitch is attached to a snitch runner, a neutral game participant, who enters the pitch after 17 minutes of game time and defends the snitch ball from being caught by the seekers. The team that catches the snitch first is awarded 30 points.
There are four different player positions which are denoted by different coloured headbands:
Chasers: There are three chasers per team and their tasks are to shoot the quaffle through one of the three hoops to score goals, and to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. A goal is worth ten points and can be scored from either side of the hoops.
Keeper: The keeper defends their hoops from opposing players. Like chasers, they interact with the quaffle and can score goals.However, inside their own keeper zone they are granted several special rights which distinguish them from the chasers.
Beaters: There are two beaters per team whose task is to “knock” opposing players out of the game for a short amount of time by hitting them with bludgers and thereby interrupting the opposing team's game flow in a strategic way.
Seeker: At minute 18 of game time both teams send a seeker onto the pitch, whose task is to catch the snitch, which is worth 30 points.
Try It Out!
While the details of the rules can be a little complicated, the general idea of quidditch is quite easy to pick up; stay on your broom, and have fun. At the Vienna Vanguards we welcome new players of all experience levels, and coach in German and English. We just ask you bring enthusiasm, a water bottle, and wear clothes and shoes that can get muddy. Soccer cleats are suitable if you have them.
As a team, we have competed across Europe, and many of our players have represented Team Austria at World Cup and European Games. We have close connections and friendships with teams in Germany and Turkey, and consider ourselves part of the wider community. Most years we co-host our own tournament attended by many international teams and actively work within Quidditch Austria. In that respect, quidditch also offers many opportunities to volunteer and develop inter-personal and professional skills away from the pitch.