Last night was my first Quidditch practice. I showed up on the McGill field in my gym clothes, wearing my big boots, and carrying a broom.
It was fantastic. It rained the whole time.
Here’s how the game works, for the non-initiate. You can play one of a number of positions: you can be a chaser, whose goal is to throw the quaffle through one of the opposing team’s three hula hoops, or you can be a beater (this one was my favourite) whose goal was to throw one of three bludgers at the other team’s chasers or beaters. The keeper is the goal-tender, and the seeker chases the Golden Snitch (in the case of last night’s game, a small girl dressed in white and yellow.
In order to participate, one had always to be straddling a broom, and the team had some excellent-looking brooms at their disposal, I must say. The only exception is that when a chaser or beater is hit by a bludger of the opposing team’s, that player must get off his broom and run around his team’s goal-posts.
I’m not sure how points are calculated. The game ends when the seeker catches the Golden Snitch of course.
The game is very fun to play on its own merits, to say nothing of the sheer silliness of playing a sport based on a game for fictional flying witches.
Because of the torrential rain last night, we were all soaked and muddy by the time the practice was over. After the game, I noticed a number of the other players literally sliding through the mud in the field that we had so unceremoniously destroyed. When I got to the Metro station, covered in mud and dripping wet, a girl from the other side of the platform must have noticed my broom and figured out what I had been up to, because she called across to me, “How was Quidditch?”