and when the kids are old enough, we're gonna teach them how to fly...

Quidditch… it’s not just for Harry Potter anymore  

Today C and I went to a “real, live” quidditch tournament! Until this lovely opportunity landed itself in our laps, I was completely unaware that muggles had taken up the sport at all, and I was incredibly excited to find out how the game had been translated. I hoped it would be awesomely entertaining, and we were not disappointed. 

Here’s what we learned:

1. Yes, they do run around with broomsticks between their legs and, yes, it does look ridiculous. However, we reasoned that it also makes the game more impressive, because it is inevitably more difficult to throw/catch/run/tackle with a stick between your legs. 

2. The “snitch” in muggle quidditch is a dude dressed in all yellow with a tennis ball in a sock type thing hanging from the back of his gym shorts. In order to capture the snitch, the seekers must snatch the snitch away from the shorts. This proves to be quite entertaining. Within 5 minutes of our arrival today we saw one snitch loose his shorts in a rumble with the team seekers (image 1 in our photo set).

3. Quidditch is a very physical, full contact sport (see images 2 and 3), and there seem to be relatively few rules about what is considered a bad hit. We hadn’t been there too long before the medics had been called to the field for a fierce knee to the face (don’t worry, the player was OK), and that wasn’t the only time medical attention was needed that we saw. People were clotheslining each other left and right, and we saw more than a few snitches throw down with seekers. Also, when someone is injured on the field everyone has to put their brooms on the ground to stop play, because as I heard someone on the sidelines explain “you can’t fly with your stick on the ground.” 

4. Like in the real game, the snitch can leave the field and the seekers can  pursue it. While we were there, three games were going on at once, and snitches were all over the place - running through multiple fields, down by the river, over at the concession stand. If I were a player I think I might have a difficult time trying to keep track of which snitch was mine. 

5. Quidditch as a sport seems to be quite popular. Teams participating in the tourney were from all over CA - Stanford, UCLA, Santa Barbara, Silicon Valley. Yes, teams seem to be characterized by a certain type of nerdiness, but its the kind of nerdiness that accompanies all Harry Potter related things - the kind that reaches across barriers and brings together nerds from many camps. I like that.

Conclusion: quidditch is a pretty intense sport that seems to strike a nice balance between competitive, painful, goofy and fun. All in all, quidditch day = good day.

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