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Dublin is all set to host the first ever Quidditch Cup in Ireland, with three teams lined up to play the adapted version of the famous Harry Potter broomstick-based sport in an effort to qualify for the European Quidditch Cup, which takes place in Germany in April.
This version of Quidditch was adapted from the Harry Potter sport in Vermont back in 2005, and is sometimes jokingly referred to as ‘Muggle Quidditch’, due to the obvious issue with players not being able to fly on broomsticks. The fast-growing sport is already played competitively in quite a few countries, with the latest World Cup in the sport taking place in Frankfurt (Germany) in 2016, and featuring national sides from 21 countries, with Australia inflicting a first-ever international defeat on the United States to win the tournament.
Team Ireland finished 19th amongst the 21 teams, but have since shown strong development at a successful European tournament in Odense, Denmark, over the summer. The Irish Quidditch Cup will see the young sport showcased in the Irish capital by teams from three of Ireland’s major cities, with Dublin Draíochta Dragons Quidditch, Northern Wyverns Quidditch (Belfast) and Galway Grindylows set to compete in the tournament on January 20, 2018.
The tournament will take place at Trinity College in Dublin city centre, which lends its own Harry Potter-like vibe to the game, being the location of the fantastically Rowling-esque Trinity College Library, one of Ireland’s main tourist attractions.
Echoing the Harry Potter version of the game, Quidditch has three hoops, with points scored by throwing a ball through them after which the ball is passed to the other team to allow them to attack.
To score points, players must get the quaffle, a volleyball (not fully inflated) into one of three of the opposing hoops, scoring 10 points per effort. To prevent the quaffle from advancing down the pitch, chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing players by throwing dodgeballs at them. Should they hit, the player must drop the ball and broom – yes, they do in fact carry a broom!
The game ends once the infamous golden snitch – which is released into play after 17 minutes, followed by its seekers after 18 minutes, is caught by one of those seekers, in turn awarding that team 30 points.