From the Log of the Social Sec: Quidditch is Getting Serious

Or: how Quidditch tournaments are actually dangerous


I know I talk a lot about how fun Quidditch is, but, like any sport, it’s not without its injuries.

Rough game, Quidditch.

Brutal, but no one’s died in years. Someone will vanish occasionally, but they’ll turn up in a month or two!

Okay, not that bad, Weaselys, but still…

The Valentine’s Cup definitely had one broken nose (enough to need surgical restructuring) amongst various other severities, losses of consciousness, and possibilities of a broken rib. Dangerous. Being a combination of rugby, amongst other sports, Quidditch is bound to have some tackle injuries as aggressive players advance. Luckily, yesterday’s Whiteknights Annual tournament (for which I hosted and plotted and planned the social, hence the slight radio silence and general lack of inspired posts) at my campus – #BEQUIDDITCH – only led to one extended stoppage of gameplay to call the St. John’s Ambulance team over. And, even then, one of the teams forfeited their win of the game (which would have sent them into the final) as a kind of apology over the injuries caused.

I cannot say what it is exactly about Quidditch that comes with sending people to the floor. I myself have some patterns of bruises from the tackling. One takes the Quaffle, tucks it under one’s arms, but, before one can score, one has to dart around or shove through the defensive chasers. I’ve clung onto an opposing Chaser in Possession, only to be dragged along the grass because neither of us are going to let go.  Physics takes hold and momentum fights gravity. I end up rolling onto the ground: I’ve lost my grip on the Quaffle.

In contrast, I can have the Quaffle, only for opposing Chasers to pounce. I must hug myself over the ball, but face the stranglehold of the others.

I’ll admit it sounds overly-dramatic, but one mustn’t forget that Quidditch isn’t as easy as kicking off from the ground. Then again, Neville Longbottom didn’t take to flying. I myself would find flying via broom in the air disturbing. So every sort and version of the sport has a downside.

Speaking of the brooms… We lose them excessively, too. Brooms break. We lost four brooms yesterday in a variety of matches: three of ours and a guest broom. This is mainly due to the rolling or passing other players. PVC brooms are malleable under alternate pressure.

But these things happen. People get hurt and equipment gets broken. That’s one way of knowing how real Quidditch is.

Brant power activate! Reading v Southampton (who also play in red, hence the black kit) Photo credit: Stacey Thripp

Also, in case you’re wondering: whilst Southampton won the Whiteknights Tournament, the Reading Rocs, my own team, came third, out of the eight competing teams (we had Edinburgh down for the night, which was very exciting)! For this, I am so proud – Southampton, as you can see, were the toughest of competitors, the sneakiest of games, but compared to the >100:10 to them with their Snitch Catch during the British Quidditch Cup in November, we’ve improved so SO much. 50:30 to Southampton, but we caught the Snitch this time and our defence…it was awesome!

Anyway, Social Secretary out. 🙂

Guarding the hoops in the Reading v Southampton game. Photo credit: Matthew Gooch

2 thoughts on “From the Log of the Social Sec: Quidditch is Getting Serious

  1. I know that you’re trying to recreate the spirit of the game in the books, but are the brooms really necessary? Rugby with multiple balls and multiple goals seems dangerous enough without holding a length of PVC pipe between your legs.

    1. You’d have to speak to the creators of Quidditch for a more valid answer, but, for me and my team, it’s not about recreation of the Quidditch in the Potter books. Whilst the majority of the team are big fans, there are a couple of us, and you’ll get this with all teams, who don’t play Quidditch because of its links to the books. I myself like the Potter legacy, but am not a fan of JK’s writing style.

      Anyway, I digress. What I mean is that, as dangerous as it might be, we play with brooms because of the added challenge – for instance, it means we have to catch one-handed and we have to run back to hoops when hit with the dodgeball(s). If anything, Quidditch is a more tactical game than straight rugby.

      And, surprisingly perhaps, the brooms cause little damage to the players. It tends to be the tackling that injures! But good question. Their necessity is not considered and – dare I say it? – irrelevant. I run with a broom between my legs because the sport requires so. 🙂

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