Durham team aims to fly high in European challenge of...quidditch

Quidditch players take to the pitch.
Quidditch players take to the pitch.

A team of students hope to Pot-ter themselves the top prize they go up against others in the quidditch European championship.

A group of Durham University undergraduates, who make up the Durhamstrang side, will travel to Gallipoli in the Province of Lecce, Italy, next weekend as one of 40 groups to take part in the event, inspired by the game created as part of the Harry Potter books.

It follows the British Quidditch Cup last month, with the best sides from that event now through to take on others from France, Belgium, Norway, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Catalonia, Austria, and Slovenia.

The event will be the largest tournament in its history, with Durham joining Radcliffe Chimeras, Nottingham Nightmares, Warwick Quidditch Club, Southampton Quidditch Club Firsts, Loughborough Longshots, the Brizzlebears, and theKeele Squirrels.

Players will be looking to impress scouts to make TeamUK, who will represent Britain in the Quidditch World Cup this coming July.

Marcus Buechel, acting captain of Durhamstrang, said: "All our players are looking forward to playing against the best Europe has to offer.
"They are ready to show what they've got and are wanting to see the beautiful Italian scenery.”

Broomsticks are used in the matches.

Broomsticks are used in the matches.

In the UK the sport is governed by QuidditchUK, who manage the centralised rulebook, tournaments and growth of the sport as well as liaising with international governing bodies.

The organisation has been recently accepted as a member of the Sports and Recreation Alliance, who work alongside sporting organisations such as the Football Association, Rugby Football Union, and UK Athletics.

A quidditch team consists of 21 athletes with seven players per team on the field at any one time.

Each player has a broom between their legs.

The Quaffle- a semi-deflated volleyball  - is thrown through the hoops by chasers and keepers.

The Quaffle- a semi-deflated volleyball - is thrown through the hoops by chasers and keepers.

The four maximum rule of quidditch states that at most four players on the pitch at any one time can be of the same gender

This ensures that the game is mixed gender and inclusive to all.

Players can be one of four positions:

● Keepers - Guard the hoops from opposing chasers and become a 4th chaser on offense.

● Chasers - Throw the quaffle through the opposite team's hoops to score goals worth 10 points.

● Beaters -Throw bludgers at the opposing team to 'knock them out' and make them return to hoops.

● Seekers - Catch the snitch (worth 30 points) to end the game.

A team of seven will have a keeper, three chasers, two beaters and a seeker. A game of quidditch involves three types of balls:

● The Quaffle - a semi-deflated volleyball thrown through the hoops by chasers and keepers.

● Bludgers - dodgeballs thrown at other players by beaters. There are three bludgers on the pitch.

● The Snitch - a sock with a tennis ball in it, attached to the snitch runner's shorts. When caught by either team's seeker, the game ends.

More can be found on Durhamstrang through the team's Facebook page, Durham University Quidditch Club