Here’s how to join the new Vancouver Quidditch team
If you missed your Hogwarts letter on your 11th birthday, you can still enjoy the magic of Quidditch. If the last sentence didn’t make sense to you, this story is about one of the most inclusive and comprehensive professional sports ever created on the way to play in Vancouver.
Austin Wallace has been practicing quidditch for six years and is a member of Vancouver’s new team, Vanguard Quidditch. The game, taken from the pages of the Harry Potter books, allowed him to travel, introduced him to many new friends as well as a global community – and that hardly happened.
Seven years ago, Wallace was attending the University of British Columbia when he first discovered the sport, which he initially refused to play.
“I really thought it was just people casting spells thinking they were Harry Potter,” Wallace said, although curiosity eventually won out. “I gave it a try, it was immediately my favorite sport of all time and I’ve been playing it ever since.”
The reason for Wallace’s change of mind? He quickly discovered that Quidditch players were far from Harry Potter cosplayers wearing capes and glasses.
“These are people who are very competitive but don’t take themselves seriously,” Wallace said, adding that the number of cool “types of frat brothers” with a broomstick between their legs and playing a Harry Potter sport is very. weak.
“There’s a nerd culture because some people come from the Harry Potter side and there are really people who play who’ve never read the books or seen the movies,” Wallace said.
How to play
The Muggle version of Quidditch had to make a few adaptations to accommodate the flying brooms, bloodthirsty bludgers, and the ever-elusive snitch.
Instead of the Nimbus 2000 and Firebolts, players “ride” a piece of PVC pipe, holding it between their legs. A slightly deflated volleyball acts as the quaffle, the game’s primary method of scoring points. The quaffle is passed through one of the three hoops at each end of the field by the hunters to score.
Three dodge bullets represent the bludgers that players called beaters use to temporarily eliminate other players from the game.
After 18 minutes of this full-contact dodgeball and rugby combination, each team releases a seeker. Researchers are chasing a neutral player who has a small golden ball attached to his back representing the snitch. The snitch can do whatever it takes to prevent the ball from being caught, but if it fails, three points are awarded to the team that caught the ball.
Strategy without too much technicality
Wallace says the way the game is organized gives Quidditch a completely different type of strategy than any other sport it has played or even exists.
“It really does if you’re a chaser, holding the ball, sprinting over a court and normally passing over it,” Wallace said. “It’s really a lot more about athletics in general.”
“It helped me and I made it to Team Canada within a few years of playing without really having a ton of competitive sports experience.
Mixed and full contact
Already a very unique sport, Quidditch offers another rare trait in the sport, you are your type – no questions asked.
“I think it’s really cool and it’s a lot easier to accept a sport for people who aren’t the binary type,” Wallace said. “It is the only sport which is full contact between the sexes at the highest level.”
Wallace explained that players need to be aware of the size differences when deciding how difficult it is to tackle other players, but other than that, it’s largely a free-to-play game.
“I often have this really weird thing about ‘Oh, I can’t hit a woman.’ You both signed up for this and consented to this full contact sport, it’s disrespectful of you not to be fully engaged, ”Wallace explained.
You can try your hand at Quidditch quite easily, Vanguard Quidditch runs regular Sunday night practice at Burnaby’s Central Park at 7 p.m., where newcomers are welcome to try the sport.
More information can be found on Vanguard Quidditch’s Facebook group or you can join their Discord server.