Muggle Quidditch in Enschede

| Michaela Nesvarova

Twentse Thestrals are a new sports team founded by students of the University of Twente. They play Muggle Quidditch. No, this is not a joke. Quidditch is not only a fictional game from Harry Potter books. Since 2005, it is also a real-life sport played by real muggles (non-magical folk) all over the world. It has broomsticks, it has a quaffle, bludgers, the golden snitch, beaters... Sounds interesting? Then sign up. Twentse Thestrals are currently looking for new team members.

Photo by: Flickr Creative Commons

'It´s not just a nerdy game,' says Kim Nölke, a UT student and one of the founding members of the Enschede quidditch team. 'It´s a real sport that can be quite rough. It´s a combination of rugby, dodgeball and basketball - only with brooms. Unfortunately, we do not fly, of course. But how cool would that be?' adds the Harry Potter fan.

An official sport

Muggle Quidditch was first created in 2005 at Middlebury College, Vermont. It has become increasingly popular and grown into a proper sport with official rules, governed by the International Quidditch Association and played at national, European and even world championships.

'When I found a Youtube video with a game of Muggle Quidditch some time ago, I thought this can´t be real, but it is! And as a big Harry Potter fan, I think playing a real quidditch is of course awesome,' says Charlie Albrecht, a UT student of psychology, who is also a member of Twentse Thestrals. The team itself is still very new and consists mainly of UT students. However, anybody is free to join.

Complicated rules

What is in store for those, who decide to play? The rules are not exactly simple. Quidditch is played on a field by 2 teams with 7 players each. Based on the official rules, each team is required to have a maximum of four players, who identify with the same gender. There are 3 chasers, 2 beaters, 1 keeper and 1 seeker, who comes into the game after 18 minutes. The remaining 6 players are on the field at all times. There are three types of balls - a quaffle (a volleyball), 3 bludgers (dodgeballs) and a snitch (a tennis ball).

The chasers´ job is to get the quaffle through one of the opponent´s hoops. The beaters try to prevent the other team from scoring by throwing bludgers at them. If a player is hit by a bludger, they need to drop any ball they are holding and run to their team´s hoops before they are allowed to rejoin the game.

After 18 minutes of game time, the snitch and the seeker come into play. The snitch is a neutral party, a fast runner, who has the golden snitch (a tennis ball) attached to their back. (It hangs there in a long yellow sock.) The seeker´s task is to get the ball from the snitch runner, who is allowed to do almost anything in order not to get caught. Even though now the snitch needs to remain within the field, the runners could previously go anywhere in any manner their fantasy allowed them, such as taking a bike or a car.

Rugby with brooms

If all of this wasn´t complicated enough, all players are required to hold a broomstick between their legs. 'There actually are real 'Harry Potter' broomsticks like the 'Nimbus 2000' being made, but you can also play with special plastic pipes. In any case, you are never allowed to dismount your broom,' explains Kim Nölke.

'It´s a very fast and tactical game,' continues Nölke. 'There are at least six referees, who need to have eyes everywhere, because there are so many balls. It might look silly because of the brooms, but it is actually very difficult. It´s like rugby with brooms.'

Join Twentse Thestrals

If you are intrigued by this fantastic(al) game, Twentse Thestrals have their doors open. 'The team is mainly about having fun. Although it would be great, if we could join at least the Dutch championship,' thinks Nölke. 'We want to actively ask people, who are interested, to contact us. They don´t have to be UT students, everyone is welcome. We will play either at the campus or in parks.'

The team will hold an open training session in January. You can contact them via their Facebook page, Facebook profile or website.

The official Twentse Thestrals logo was made by Anna Uhlenbruck.

Stay tuned

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.