Image: Quidditch has become decidedly un-magicalised
From quaffles to snitches, beaters and keepers, the Harry Potter sport of quidditch has taken off around the world. In the lead up to this year’s quidditch World Cup in Germany, we talk to Australian captain, James Mortensen, about his love for the game and its place in the sporting community.
Image: Dropbears captain James Mortensen practices in Melbourne
When I first played, it was about the complexity and the inclusivity of the sport. I loved the fact that people of all shapes, sizes and skill levels were able to make a worthwhile impression on the field, and that captured my interest and made me want to continue playing. I had actually not read or watched Harry Potter at all when I first joined.
Image: Nicholas Albornoz charges through the Victorian defense in the NSW vs Vic game
That the sport has nothing to offer a serious player, just because it comes from a children’s fantasy novel. The tactics, the physicality and the skill required to play quidditch are on par with any established sports that people play in a mainstream capacity.
Image: Dropbears player James Williams practicing in Melbourne
For a spectator, quidditch can be a challenge. While there are only 14 players on the pitch at any one time (7 from each team), there are essentially 3 games being played at the same time.
For both players and spectators, seeing how those 3 games interact is both a great challenge and a great joy, equal only to the finest of wines and the unbridled ecstasy of a sunset experienced with a cherished friend!
Image: Old Town, Frankfurt
Quite excited. I, in fact, have not been to Germany before.
Image: Dameon Osborn, Luke Derrick and Carolyn Themel play in the recent New South Wales vs Victoria game
Because of the nature of the game, individual effort won’t get you far. Without cohesive teamwork that can draw together the 3 different elements of quidditch, a team will likely suffer and individual players will not be able to reach their full potential regardless of their level of skill. So, winning at this level, or winning any game for that matter, is really about working together both on and off the field. That’s what makes it such an awesome sport.
Image: James Mortensen at QuidCamp (an annual conference of quidditch players were tactics, gameplay and refereeing are discussed)
The US Team are heavy favourites as they are yet to be defeated at an international level. We can also expect tough competition from France, the UK and Canada. Being on the other side of the world means it’s hard to gauge where we stand. But we have worked as hard as we can and we feel like we have a good chance coming into the competition.
Image: After a Victoria victory over NSW
Because of the inclusive nature of quidditch, it’s a fantastic opportunity not only to meet new people from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives – but to face and overcome challenges together by drawing on the strengths of those diverse perspectives and abilities.
Image: A seeker going for the snitch
First step – Google it.
Once you’re there and you take the pitch, don’t worry about the broom between your legs. Just sweep the doubts aside and try your best to have fun!
If you want to see what all the fuss is about, you can watch the Dropbears take on Belgium live this Saturday at 6.45pm (AEST): https://www.facebook.com/events/252367068481321