In another example of wizards cultural domination a team of French Muggles have become European Quidditch Champions. This despite the goalkeeper breaking his shoulder!
The French team beat Britain 90-50 in the first European Quidditch Games in Sarteano, a hillside town in Tuscany. The champions beat 11 teams, all on broomsticks, in the sport invented by author JK Rowling for her Harry Potter book series.
Dennis Jordan, captain of the French side, on Sunday said both sides played a “really tough, really intense game”. “Our main keeper was injured and broke his shoulder; he’s now in the ambulance. It was a legal tackle; both teams played aggressively but within the rules,” he said from the sidelines.
The winning side is now looking ahead to the Quidditch Global Games, to be held next year, with the location still to be decided by an international governing body.
Other than the fact we’re not flying, it’s full contact and quite rough, just as it was in the books
Quidditch involves seven players per team, five balls and a total of six hoops which serve as goals. Each match starts with the referee shouting “Brooms up!” and comes to an end once a tennis ball “snitch”, attached to a player’s shorts, has been caught.
Competitors must abide by a 170-page rule book, with organisers making sure each team has the correct equipment. Most use tournament-supplied broomsticks, though a few players do bring their own.
The sport is becoming popular in Italy, with nine teams across the country including two in Rome. But the Italians have some way to go before they can be named regional champions, after the national team was knocked out of the tournament by the Belgians.