Wrocław's newly formed 'quidditch' team are ready to take on rival sides having put together a team of locally based players from different countries.
Those familiar with the term quidditch will of course associate the word with the fictional sport depicted in the Harry Potter books and films, which sees wizards flying around on broomsticks.
Fans of Harry Potter have nonetheless devised a version of the game that can be performed in the real world, and the sport is beginning to develop a bit of a cult following. Last year saw the largest ever Quidditch World Cup take place; 21 teams took part in tournament and Australia were crowned champions.
According to the US Quidditch association, the aim of the game is as follows:
"Three chasers score goals worth 10 points each with a volleyball called the quaffle. They advance the ball down the field by running with it, passing it to teammates, or kicking it. Each team has a keeper who defends the goal hoops. Two beaters use dodgeballs called bludgers to disrupt the flow of the game by “knocking out” other players. Any player hit by a bludger is out of play until they touch their own goals. Each team also has a seeker who tries to catch the snitch. The snitch is a ball attached to the waistband of the snitch runner, a neutral athlete in a yellow uniform who uses any means to avoid capture. The snitch is worth 30 points and its capture ends the game. If the score is tied after the snitch catch, the game proceeds into overtime.
During play, players are forbidden from taking certain actions, or fouls. Players who commit fouls face different consequences depending on the severity of the offense. A back to hoops foul indicates that a player must stop and return to their hoops, as though knocked out. A yellow card indicates that a player must spend one minute in the penalty box. A red card indicates that a player is barred from the rest of the game."
Here in Wrocław, the local quittich side have been named the Wrocław Wanderers. The team typically do their training on the open green fields of Park Szczytnicki, not far from the Observatory. There are quidditch sides in other Polish cities too – namely the Warsaw Mermaids, Kraków Dragons and Black Diamond Silesia Miners. A team from Poznan is also close to being formed.
Earlier this year the Wrocław Wanderers launched trials in order to put together a competitive team. Many of those answering the call came from abroad, making the Wrocław Wanderers one of the city's most international sports teams. According to media reports, our local quidditch side has players from France, Greece, Croatia, India, Germany, Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium and even Morocco. A healthy number of this contingent are said to be Erasmus students.
Having put together a team, the Wrocław Wanderers are naturally looking to test themselves against opposition from Poland and abroad. According to Gazeta Wyborcza, the team will get their chance next month when they take part in the so callled 'Slavic Cup'. Some of the Wrocław Wanderers players will also turn out for national sides during this summer's European Quidditch Championships in Oslo.
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