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Arena Quidditch Association

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Now, obviously Quidditch is the fictional sport from Harry Potter, is played on flying broomsticks, etc. Buuuuut… Muggle Quidditch is not played on flying brooms, and holds a lot of popularity on some college campuses. What it really needs, I thought, is to be brought to the masses. Make it a sport that everybody can play and everybody can love, and that can fill up some empty arena dates in the spring/summer/fall when there is no basketball or hockey. Make it something everyone will want to watch.

I worked out an indoor ‘pitch’ for the game, and the rules. I’m not much of an artist but I do plan to do some team concepts nonetheless, and what I hope for is a group project where anyone who wants to could submit their own ‘Arena Quidditch’ team. A community project, basically.

As far as rules go, many are taken straight from the International Quidditch Association. They have the idea, but what I’ve done is moved the game indoors, and turned the game from a campus lark to something that could become a major sport. *please suspend your disbelief*

Now, the Arena Quidditch Association is an international sport structure that maintains the rules of the indoor game, and organizes the game into levels and leagues, much like FIFA would for association football (soccer). There are two major top-flight leagues, one in North America and one in Europe. Like soccer, there are lower leagues and a promotion-relegation system, so that any group can attempt to become the best in the world. Each year, there would be an international tournament of the top teams from each league (including lower leagues), so that even squads who haven’t made it to the apex of the sport can still get some face time with an international audience.

Arena Quidditch Association rules:

Seven players per side: three Chasers, two Beaters, one Keeper and one Seeker. The Chasers try to score with the Quaffle, the Beaters throw Bludgers at players to ‘Knock them Out’ (which briefly forces them out of play), the Keeper defends his or her goal hoops, and the Seeker attempts to catch the Golden Snitch. Each player must ride a broom during gameplay. This means holding the broom handle with one hand, and generally keeping it between one’s legs and off the ground.

Three balls: one Quaffle, two Bludgers. The Quaffle will look like the Wizard version, a red tetrahedron-like ball. The Bludgers will be slightly underinflated rubber utility balls. In addition to the three balls, there is also the Golden Snitch. Because we can’t really bewitch a ball to evade capture, the Snitch is a person who can run and evade capture by cunning and by physically defending himself from the Seekers (Youtube a Muggle Quidditch match to see how this can be accomplished).

The pitch itself is divided into four main areas, two Offensive Zones and two Neutral Zones. In each offensive Zone, there are two irregular circles centred on sets of three goal hoops. The inner circle is the Keeper’s Crease, and the outer circle is the Attack Circle. No player but the Keeper is allowed within his/her own Crease, and only one attacking player is allowed to enter the Attack Circle at a time.

Each game is divided into three periods. Each will last either fifteen minutes, or until the Snitch is captured, whichever occurs later. Capturing the Snitch is worth fifty points each time it is caught. The other method of scoring in Arena Quidditch is with the Quaffle. A Chaser must throw the Quaffle through one of the hoops the opposing team is defending. The ball may pass through either the front or back of the hoops; both would be scored as ten points. If the game is tied after three periods, there is no overtime. The winning team is the team that captured the Snitch more than once.

Rosters are made up of up to twelve players, with substitutions occurring either on-the-fly, or at a stoppage in play, much like ice hockey. In Arena Quidditch, at least two members of each gender must be on the pitch at any given time for each team, and at least three of each on the roster of a team. Players in the penalty box count against the first total, but those ejected from the game do not.

Penalties work in a similar manner to hockey, where penalized players must sit in the penalty box. However, penalties are shorter; most are one or two minutes, with major fouls being five minute penalties than generally result in the ejection of the player. Penalties do not end when a goal is scored against the offending team. Also, penalty shots play a much larger role; any play that could be considered to rob the offensive team of a scoring opportunity also provides a penalty shot. Another difference is that penalties never run past the final clock: if a player takes a penalty with less time left in the game than their penalty would extend, the non-offending team is compensated in penalty shots. If the player should face a two minute penalty, they still goes to the penalty box, but the opposing team is allowed to take a penalty shot for every full 30 seconds in penalty they would not receive due to the game expiring. Example: 58 seconds left and a two-minute penalty equals a 58-second penalty plus two penalty shots. This really only applies if the Snitch is caught before the 15-minute mark of the final period.

Generally, physical contact is allowed between any two players who would use the same game ball (Chasers/Keepers together, Beaters, Seekers), as long as the player who is being contacted is in possession of the ball. Also, Keepers may not be contacted within the Attack Circle for any reason. Legal physical players include bodychecking, one-armed tackles, slide tackles, stripping the ball and holding onto the ball carrier with one arm. Illegal moves include tripping, kicking, punching, kneeing, elbowing, two-armed tackles, any check from behind or on a defenceless receiver, any holding around the neck or head, or any play which attempts to bring the player’s head into contact with the pitch or a sideboard.

Teams which have been penalized must play short-handed, and all players are susceptible. If a Keeper is penalized, they must go to the penalty box, and are replaced temporarily as Keeper by a Chaser. When their penalty expires, they re-enter play as a Chaser until a stoppage in play, when they may legally change roles with their replacement.

A player who is hit with a Bludger thrown by a Beater is considered Knocked Out, and must dismount his/her broom and run across at least two of the broad white lines that mark the separation of the four main zones. Once they have set both feet on the other side of the second line, they may remount their broom and re-enter play. All players are susceptible to Bludgers, with the exception of Keepers who are within their own Attack Circle. If a Beater is hit with a Bludger but catches it before it hits the pitch or a sideboard, they are not considered Knocked Out. No other player receives this privilege, as they may not touch the Bludgers for any reason. Beaters and Seekers may not touch the Quaffle for any reason aside from it being thrown directly at them (they should still try to avoid it), and no players but the Seeker may interfere with the Snitch. One other rule, to lengthen the pursuit of the Snitch, is that Seekers may not enter either Attacking Circle or the Centre Circle, so that the Snitch may use them to increase his running lead.

The pitch:

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KEY

1. Player bench

2. Centre Spot

3. Keeper's Crease with three Goal Hoops

4. Attack Circle

5. Attacking Zone Outline

6. Centre Line

7. Referee's Crease

8. Penalty Box

9. Standard hockey boards, glass and netting

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Attacking Zone

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Goal Hoops (centres are 36", 54" and 72" off the pitch, inner diameter of 42" each)

Summary:

Because the game of Muggle Quidditch first began on college campuses in the United States and Canada, the sport is most popular in college towns and among the younger demographic. However, due to the game’s associations to British literature and JK Rowling’s descriptions of Wizard Quidditch teams in the books, many (but certainly not all) teams will follow soccer naming traditions (United, City, QC, or simply a location name).

The general uniform worn by Muggle Quidditch players is shorts, a short-sleeved shirt and a cape. The full robes seem overkill if you’re not able to have them trailing in the wind while flying, but if anyone has any suggestions for whether that should be considered the standard apparel for Arena Quidditch, I’d love to hear your input. That is one thing I certainly haven’t decided. Teams could be placed in any small- medium- or large-sized city or borough, as long as there is an appropriate arena available. Team names can be local, regional, etc, derived from something magical or not, a Potter reference or not, etc. Think original!

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Well, this is cool.

One thing though, teams don't wear capes anymore. If you want to see what the best muggle quidditch teams wear now a days, check out quiyk.com. They are the only quidditch equipment and jersey makers we have so far. They have created a bunch of really cool things, especially the jerseys for the Quidditch Olympics in Oxford this past summer. Quidditch uniforms are normally kind of crazy.

Anyways, here are my suggestions for a US league. Many of teams I suggest are official "community" teams, which means they are not associated with a university and anyone could join the teams. Community teams have evolved from just a bunch of kids who want to keep playing after they graduate into teams that could knock off the best college teams. If Quidditch ever goes pro, I would expect some community teams to be involved.

Quebec Quafflepunchers

Boston Bludgers

New York Badassilisks*

Philadelphia Dragons*

Washington Wizengamot

Steel City QC*

Austin QC*

Texas Silver Phoenixes*

Denver Dementors*

Utah Crimson Fliers*

Lost Boys QC* (Los Angeles)

Hollywood Harpies*

Silicon Valley Skrewts*

Indianapolis Mad-Eyes

Orlando Sun-Snitches

QC Carolinas*

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Maybe, instead of the cape and shirt, make it a long-sleeved sweater. IMO, ditch the cape, my only thought is you would trip over it in the game, after all, it's not like muggles can actually fly. Otherwise I think this is a great idea. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

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Instead of a cape, how about an appropriately-colored and/or logoed t-shirt or mesh jersey where the shoulders and arms are still intact, but the front is cut off, leaving a sort-of cape. Granted, this is all in my head, and actually doing something like this might end up looking like lingerie. But this provides a light-weight and breathable concept.

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Cape is a terrible idea. There's a reason no one in the IQA uses them anymore: they're dangerous. Also, it's not right to call quidditch as it's currently played a "lark". People take it very seriously. You really need to look into what the IQA is already doing if you want to make this concept believable. There are already regions, tournaments, fantastic logo and uniform design, and a World Cup.

And Philsphan, I knew you'd be in this thread :) You oughta know, there's no WAY the Hollywood Harpies would ever get into a pro league. They're just not into being that serious. Check out the SB Blacktips, though ;)

Oh, and one more thing, if you're going for realism- a large part of the IQA is moving away from the 'magical' team names. Most of the time they're no longer original, because everyone is using them. So if you want something a modern quidditch team would use, use either something nonmagical or something magical but subtle. Also shy away from ball themed names. You don't see the "Boise Baseballs" or the "Fredricksburg Footballs" because it's confusing as heck to announce.

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Cape is a terrible idea. There's a reason no one in the IQA uses them anymore: they're dangerous. Also, it's not right to call quidditch as it's currently played a "lark". People take it very seriously. You really need to look into what the IQA is already doing if you want to make this concept believable. There are already regions, tournaments, fantastic logo and uniform design, and a World Cup.

Exactly. Capes are dumb and dangerous and what the IQA is doing is impressive.

And Philsphan, I knew you'd be in this thread :) You oughta know, there's no WAY the Hollywood Harpies would ever get into a pro league. They're just not into being that serious. Check out the SB Blacktips, though ;)

You're right. I just love the name because the "Hollyhead Harpies" were a team from the books. Also, I was very impressed by the Blacktips performance at Western Cup and proud to have helped with the logo! Congrats! And I know you guys are a serious team that is a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Oh, and one more thing, if you're going for realism- a large part of the IQA is moving away from the 'magical' team names. Most of the time they're no longer original, because everyone is using them. So if you want something a modern quidditch team would use, use either something nonmagical or something magical but subtle. Also shy away from ball themed names. You don't see the "Boise Baseballs" or the "Fredricksburg Footballs" because it's confusing as heck to announce.

Again, I was kind of just doing that for fun. Sometimes, I just like the sound of names and even though the IQA is steering away from it, the whimsy magical names fit the sport when it was more whimsical. But now the sport becoming more and more serious and the magical names are a thing of the past.

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My personal opinion about whimsical names is that I like them, but pretty much only ones that could sound plausible for another sport. That means I lean mostly towards established mythical creatures: Griffins, Chimeras, Basilisks. I feel like they all cater to the magical subset, but they don't rely on Harry Potter. Plus they're exciting because you don't tend to see names like that in pro or college sports.

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