Video and photo gallery: Norfolk school takes up Harry Potter sport quidditch
PUBLISHED: 15:26 21 March 2011 | UPDATED: 15:38 21 March 2011
Archant © 2011
Although fans will be in mourning when the last of the Harry Potter films is released later this year, a school from Norfolk is joining groups around the world to embrace author J. K. Rowling's creation of the spell-binding sport quidditch.
A game usually reserved for wizards, students from Langley School in Langley Park, Chedgrave, are determined to make the magic live on by jumping on their broomsticks for the latest sporting activity.
Far from a “snitch” to play, the sport has leapt from the page and into the fields of the school grounds, where both teachers and students get involved.
David Innes, head of ICT, took on the role of referee and donned in a cape and top hat said: “It’s just really quirky and quite different - There hasn’t been many new sports appear in the last 50 years.
Rule of Quidditch
The basic rules of the game, evolved from the Harry Potter books, involve three types of balls.
The quaffle, used to score goals. The bludger, used to hit other players to ‘knock them off’ their broomsticks, and the snitch, a person who dresses in yellow and runs around trying not to get caught.
Players included the chaser, who throw the quaffles to each other in a volleyball style to try and score goals, which earns the team points. The keeper who acts like a goalkeeper. A beater who throws the bludgers at the other team, and the seeker, who ‘flies’ around trying to catch the snitch.
Once the snitch is caught it is the end of the game, and the team who catches the snitch also receives bonus points.
The broomstick must be held by the player at all times and must stay in between the players legs.
There is no time limit to quidditch and penalty shots are given when a player gets fouled.
“There are a few schools in the UK that play it now and it is an emerging sport that gets the students fired up and enthusiastic.”
Many schools in America have already embraced quidditch, including the prestigious universities, Harvard and Yale, and since starting the sport in December last year organisers at Langley School have already applied to the International Quidditch Association (IQA), an organisation dedicated to the promotion of quidditch.
Marketing and alumni manager, Ed Hill, said: “We wanted to offer the kids something different and offer them opportunities, and they have taken to it really well.
“It’s become a regular feature in our activities and is a different way for our students to compete in sport.
“It is another form of exercising and gets people participating who might not usually want to participate in sports.”
Like the books the IQA also organises an annual quidditch World Cup and this year’s fifth World Cup will be held at Randall’s Island in New York in November.
Stephen Read, teacher and Parent and Teacher Association member, said: “My dream is to have the world cup here.”
As the students prepared to play their inter-house match, it was clear that it was just as much a spectator sport as well, with a crowd turning out to watch the fun, dressed in pointy hats and dark capes.
Toby Salmon, aged 17, is in Year 13 and plays the chaser position.
“It started off as a bit of a laugh,” he said, already exhausted from his first match.
“But because it’s not your normal sport, it gets everyone together.
“You’re doing physical activity, getting to enjoy it, and it also gets teachers to interact with the students. It should be introduced to more schools.”
There will be a chance to watch quidditch at an exhibition match being held at the Easter Daffodil Craft and Country Fayre at the school on April 3.
Ed Hill said: “It is recognised as the first Craft and Country Fayre of the season and it is a great family day.
“This year we have introduced a farmers market and we will also have special guests Bryan Gunn and Jeremy Goss, whose charity we are supporting.
“There will be centenary celebration for the school, with the chance to have a look through the only grade I Mansion house in South Norfolk.”
For more information about quidditch email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.internationalquidditch.org or for more information about the Daffodil Day call 01508 520 210 or visit www.langleyschool.co.uk.
To see the students in fierce broomstick action play the online video or view the photo gallery at the top of the page.