To play the game, opposing teams of seven have to put ‘quaffles’ into hoops while avoiding dodgeballs known as ‘bludgers’.
The flying ‘snitch’ is played by a neutral player dressed in yellow with a tennis ball in their waistband.
In the absence of flying broomsticks, players have to run around with sticks or brooms between their legs.
Although Quidditch is new to Britain, more than 400 teams play in the US.
Now, I have a couple of readers who get on my case every time I make fun of Muggle Quidditch - because after all, the players are "just having fun." I suppose that's true. But on the other hand, if I can't describe a bunch of grown people running up and down a field in little Hogwarts capes with broomsticks between their legs as ridiculous, doesn't that imply that the word has lost all meaning?
Viewed objectively, lots of sports seem pretty ridiculous. Curling comes to mind - and hey, that involves brooms as well! If someone out there really wanted to base a sport on the Malleus Maleficarum, which is where the whole "witches riding flying brooms" comes from, they could always stipulate that everyone involved make use of liberal amounts of flying ointment and play the game naked. I'd watch that for sure, though it would probably be way too dangerous to responsibly support.
A comedian whose name I don't remember once had a routine explaining that the French hate Americans because we took their invention of the croissant and proceeded to turn it into the Croissan'Wich. I fear that Muggle Quidditch may take us down the same path with the British. J.K. Rowling imagined a sport that, quite frankly, looks unbelievably cool on film, and what did we Americans do? We turned it into a game where the brooms don't fly, but you still need to ride them in order to play.