I was scrolling through Twitter this morning with no particular objective. Until I found this:
— Bookstacked (@Bookstacked) February 27, 2016
My first thought was, “This is insane!” And then I realized that it has been going on for a decade and I was like,
HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!
Apparently, I’ve been living under the Wizarding World rock because I was not made aware of this happening since 2005.
So here’s the gist of what is now called Muggle Quidditch. It doesn’t really veer that far away from the game J.K. Rowling created for Harry Potter and the rest of the Wizarding World. It’s a semi-contact sport, coed, and 7 on 7. We’ve got the 3 hoops that are the goals, 3 kinds of balls–the quaffle, the bludgers, and the snitch. And there’s the differences: the existence of a Snitcher, the absence of flight (because we can’t do that. Yet.), the presence of dodgeball instead of a rogue iron ball, and plenty more.
I won’t be talking too much about the rules and basic know-hows of Quidditch since that’s not my goal here. But I’ll link up some helpful articles and videos below for those who want to know more.
Moving on, what I want to talk here is how the birth of this sport is such an amazing phenomenon to witness in our lifetime.
For some hours as I watched highlight reels from last year’s Quidditch World Cup on YouTube, I was just so overwhelmed with amazement on how something fictional was turned by creative and inspiring people into a real thing. That a certain literary work could impact an entire generation so much that they have owned it and made it real.
But here’s the thing about creating something new and unique that has the potential to be big: people will find you weird at first. And the general population will for quite a while.
We see something new and different, the first thing that comes to your mind “That’s weird”. It’s a reaction that’s probably been passed down to us from our parents along with our DNAs.
Quidditch and the entire community, players and mere avid fans, are pushing to achieve the sport’s legitimacy. And the greatest obstacle that I see they are facing is this mindset that it was a fictional game from a fictional novel. And that’s why it’s taken less seriously in the sports world.
Read that again, and again, and again.
I feel infuriated about this. J.K. Rowling clearly described in her books that the sport can be very physical and aggressive at times. And in the many videos, including documentaries like Brooms Up! and Mudbloods, and articles I’ve watched and read regarding this 10-year-old sport, it certainly is not a game for the faint of heart.
But why the stigma? Because it came from a fictional world?
The world of literature has long been the source and inspiration of the birth of many hobbies or interests that are beyond its traditional sphere. Cosplays, roleplays, fanfictions, the freaking Medieval Festival. And they are all getting acceptance in the general society. What’s so different about Quidditch?
Here’s what I think: real-life Quidditch does not only transcend through the realms of fantasy and reality. It is also breaking this age-old wall, blurring this age-old line that separates stereotypical jocks and nerds. And it may look or feel uncomfortable to some.
In Mudbloods, Alex Benepe, commissioner of the sport’s highest governing body International Quidditch Association, shared a story when he and his friends were starting Quidditch and heard someone make fun of them. Calling them “freaks” and the sport a “nerd game” or some sort.
All in the basis of where the sport came from.
But here’s the thing, Quidditch and the rest of the other sports all came from the same place: from the imaginative minds of creative people.
The last decade and, hopefully shorter, the decade to follow are adjustment periods for the whole world to accept Quidditch as a true sport. And we, those who campaign on making it legitimate, can only push other people into a better understanding that, yes, Quidditch is real and it’s happening.
And hopefully, more of this unique, amazing and inspiring kind of things that came from literature will happen in the near future. I wonder which book/s will inspire the next generation?
Thirst for knowledge, eh? Here’s where to get some other helpful stuff:
Quidditch World Cup 8 Highlight Reel [Video]
The Complete Muggle’s Guide To Quidditch [Video]
Brooms Up! Quidditch World Cup IV Documentary [Video]
International Quidditch Association
Quidditch World Cup: Fantasy Game, Real Bruises | Time
Muggles, rejoice: Quidditch is Becoming a Serious Sport | Smithsonian Mag
YOUR TURN! Have you heard about real-life Quidditch before this? How do you feel about it and the sport’s legitimacy? What other kind of stuff from literary fiction do you think will possibly exist in real-life? (Hopefully, for the good of everyone, you aren’t thinking of Hunger Games.) Let’s discuss!