Thursday Trivia: Quidditch

Photo of the Slytherin Muggle Quidditch team a...

The Slytherin team at Millikin College. Image via Wikipedia.

 

Last weekend, when Middlebury College won the 4th Quidditch World Cup, no one was especially surprised. (I, on the other hand, was surprised that Ursuline High School (a) exists and (b) has a koala bear as a mascot.) For one thing, they were the first to even play Muggle Quidditch in a league, starting with an intramural season in 2005, with the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association being formed in 2007 (the first intercollegiate game featured Middlebury against Vassar), and, now as the International Quidditch Association, now encompasses over 400 college teams, 300 high school teams, and fields teams from as far-flung as India, South Korea and Australia (though the vast majority are in the US and Canada).

Four more facts about Quidditch, both Muggle and magical, after the jump!

  • Unlike the Quidditch described in the Harry Potter series, where catching the Golden Snitch is worth 150 points, it’s only worth 30 under IQA rules.
  • There are over 700 possible fouls in magical Quidditch, though most are archaic, due to the ban on players using wands enacted in 1538. Such fouls have fun names like cobbing (elbowing), blatching (flying with the intent to collide), and, of course, stooging (the controversial foul allowing only one Chaser in the goal area, largely so that keepers wouldn’t get killed).
  • Of the nine games Harry is described as playing as Seeker, he caught the Snitch in seven of them; in all but two games in which Harry did not appear, Gryffindor lost (they won without him in Order of the Phoenix, when he and the Weasley twins were banned from the team by Umbridge, and in Half-Blood Prince, when he was in detention with Snape).
  • It seems as though the Falmouth Falcons’ motto, “Let us win, but if we cannot win, let us break a few heads,” is lifted in part from the Special Olympics Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
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