Society Spotting: An Introduction to Quidditch

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Bournemouth University is proud to host over 100 societies, all great ways to make friends and establish life long hobbies. So thats why this year Nerve Now is giving a chance to all societies to tell their story. Any and all society is welcome, no matter how wacky or weird. This time, Savannah Arnaud spoke to us about the Bournemouth Banshees, Bournemouth Universities very own quidditch team. 

Born from the great mind of J.K Rowling, Quidditch is the sport wizards and witches play in the Harry Potterseries. It’s a mixed gender, full contact sports which was born in 2005, at the university of Middlebury in Vermont, USA. Fast forward to 2019, quidditch is now a well-established sport in a variety of countries around the world, such as the UK, France, Norway, Turkey and many others. The UK has over 50 teams both university based and community. Different tournaments go on throughout the year in the respective countries as well as internationally. The last Quidditch World Cup was during the summer of 2018 where the United States secured the gold medal. Since 2005, the community has tried to become more accessible to different type of people, and is inclusive of every gender, respective of people’s identification and orientated towards a positive inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community.

The rules of Quidditch are simple, the winning team needs to score the most points by scoring through the opposite team’s three hoops. Each hoop is worth 10 points. A team is composed of 7 players, wearing different colour headbands for identification, and a medium PCV tube between their legs acting as the broom (no, they don’t fly!).  The points are scored by chasers and keepers with a slightly deflated volley ball called the quaffle. Each team is composed of 3 chasers wearing a white headband and one keeper wearing a green headband. Whilst those players are trying to score points, two beaters on each team, wearing a black headband, throw dodgeballs, called bludgers, at opposite players in order to stop them from either scoring or defending the hoops. If a player is hit by an opposition’s bludger, they must take the broom off from between their legs and run back to their own hoops before being allowed to interact with the game again. The 7thplayer on each team is the seeker, wearing a yellow headband, whose job it is to catch the snitch. The snitch is an unbiased person, wearing yellow shorts with a tennis ball in a yellow sock attached to the back of the shorts. They enter the game at the 17thminute, and seekers follow at the 18thminute. The first seeker to catch the yellow sock, grants their team an additional 30 points and ends the game. Whichever team has the most points, win the game. In Quidditch, tackling is allowed but the rules differ from sports such as Rugby as the broom is an additional element to consider for the safety of players. As well as being a mixed gender sport, it allows smaller players to feel safe against bigger and stronger players. Each game lasts until the snitch is caught, or 45 minutes if neither team manages to catch the snitch. There is an additional gender rule, which consists of only 4 players of each gender (male, female and non-binary) are allowed on pitch at all time, so it gives non-male players who have never played sports a chance to play more.

Bournemouth University has its own Quidditch team, called the Bournemouth Banshees, recognisable to the community by their purple kit and bright green socks. Banshees were founded by Tara Moreland in 2016. The team has qualified two years in a row to the British Quidditch Cup since 2018, a tournament held in spring, where the best teams of the country compete for the title of best quidditch team of the UK. Banshees’ team is growing each year, and their play is improving constantly. Last year, they ranked 27th of the country, moving ranks by 4 places from the previous year.

On the 26thof October, they will hold the first fixture of the South Coast Cup, where they will compete against 6 other teams in different fixtures throughout the year hoping to secure a place on the podium. They will then compete against the teams in the South, at a tournament called Southern, in order to secure a place at the British Quidditch Cup for the third year in a row.

Banshees have another eventful season ahead of them, and we can wait to see what they will be up to next. After speaking with the vice president of the club, James Church, he stated that “The Banshees have gone from strength to strength and I’m hoping we continue this into this season” about his hopes and prediction for this year’s season for the club.

Images curtesy of RenoufDesign

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