Fans of physical activity and the Harry Potter series alike prepare for something truly unique.
The Central Alberta Quidditch team will be in Sylvan Lake on Aug. 12 to teach muggles everything about playing Quidditch.
Or at least a version of the game. For those not in the know is a game created by author J.K. Rowling that is played with seven players on the field and four balls; one Quaffle, two Bludgers and one Golden Snitch.
Oh, and it’s played on brooms in the sky.
Unfortunately, science has not yet found a way to make a broom fly, but that has not stopped the game from becoming a full blown sport.
Jillian Staniec, president and head coach for the Central Alberta Centaurs, said the game is still played with brooms, just with your feet firmly on the ground.
“Unlike Harry Potter, we can’t fly so we have to run to play the game,” said Staniec.
A big difference between the fictional game and what is being called the “muggle version” is the snitch.
In the books and movies the golden snitch is a tiny winged ball that flies all around the pitch. In Muggle Quidditch the snitch is played by a cross-country runner dressed in yellow.
“To end the game, and likely win, you have to catch the flag off of the snitch,” explained Staniec.
Depending on the league and age group playing, the game can also be a contact sport.
In this instance the snitch is allowed to fight back against the seekers trying to catch him/her.
She describes the game as a team sport with every member playing a part.
The keeper acts as a goal tender, the chasers act as a striker would in soccer earning the team points.
The beaters are the defence. It is their job to aim bludgers at the seekers and chasers.
“There is always movement on the field. You can’t stay still or you’ll be hit by a bludger and be out for a few minutes in a penalty,” Staniec explained.
“It is still very similar to the books and it is a lot of fun to play.”
It may all sound a little confusing and that’s alright. Members from the club will be on hand all day on Aug. 12 at Centennial Park to teach anyone interested about the game.
The event is a come-and-go style for anyone interested in giving the sport a go, which Staniec says takes the pressure off those trying it out.
“Most people will be trying this for the first time, so we want it to be fun without any pressure to join or commit to something,” Staniec said.
The event also give participants a new sport to check off of Canada’s participACTION 150 checklist.
Quidditch is one of 150 activities complied to make a massive checklist to get people out and moving during Canada’s 150th anniversary.
“We were given a grant by participACTION to cover any costs we incur by showing this sport to others.”
The event is open to all ages, though Staniec suggests ages right and up, and all abilities.
She says this is a sport played by those who both love Harry Potter and “couldn’t care less” about the series.
“It’s a fun sport where every can be a part. It is very inclusive,” Staniec said. “We don’t turn people away.”
The Central Alberta Quidditch club will be at Centennial Park in Sylvan Lake on Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.