Real-Life Quidditch - How to Get Off the Ground

Courtesy Michael E. Mason | IQA Staff Courtesy Michael E. Mason | IQA Staff

Not just for Harry Potter, Quidditch is a physically demanding, competitive, and strategic sport that is gaining popularity. Here is how you can get started playing.

Not Just for Harry Potter

So, you've just read a GoFamz article about quidditch (the real-life, coed, full-contact version), and now you want to try it. Don’t worry; this is a very common reaction. Fortunately, you have options!

A chaser on a trusty household broom initiates a pass to a teammate
Chaser initiates pass to teammate

Courtesy Michael E. Mason | IQA Staff

There are a few things to be aware of first:

  1. Know that you will break a sweat. Quidditch is a sport unlike any other, but it is still a sport. It is physically demanding, competitive, and strategic. You will feel it in the morning!
  2. The rules may confuse you on paper. Learn by doing!
  3. Know that you will look ridiculous, and that the other park patrons will comment on this fact. It takes a certain kind of person to run around on a broomstick. Stick with it and you’ll realize it is precisely that type of person whom you want to be friends with.
  4. Know that this is not the last time you will play. Quidditch is unbelievably fun, and you will find yourself planning for the next game before you cleats are off. Let your significant other know now!

Where to Play

Now that your expectations are set, let’s talk about the practicalities. Your first option is to seek out an existing scrimmage. If you live in a moderately sized city, you’re likely in luck. Go to the International Quidditch Association (IQA) website, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , to find out what teams exist in your area. ??Otherwise, as with so many of the best things in life, you’ll have to create the opportunity for yourself.

Quidditch hoops with PVC bases
Courtesy Michael E. Mason | IQA Staff

What you Need

Here’s a list of the necessities and how to get them:?

  • One (1) volleyball, slightly deflatedTip: Look for balls in your friends' and family's garages, or buy them used at a sporting goods store that offers resale for roughly $5 a piece.?
  • Three (3) red rubber dodgeballs, though two will suffice in a pinch? - Tip: Same as above.
  • Six (6) hoops? - Tip: A full set of standard hoops is an afternoon’s labor of love and about $150 in PVC, but one can also simply invest in six hula hoops (borrowed if possible, or available at your local party store or big box store for $5-$10 each) and set them up in some other way. Think attached to chair backs or some conveniently placed trashcans. Creativity is encouraged!
  • One (1) tennis ball in one (1) sock, for your snitch runner? - Tip: Try your top drawer and your garage, or borrow.?
  • One broom-shaped item for each player. Again, creativity is encouraged?. - Tip: Make your first attempt BYOB (Bring your own broom) to cut down on labor.?
  • Fifteen (15) willing participants, though the game can be played with as few as six - Tip: Cast a wide net. Your friends will surprise you (except the Harry Potter nerds in your life, who will react in much the way you anticipate). Additionally, when pitching, a clip from Youtube can be indispensible. Quidditch is a sport that must be seen to be believed, and even the most hardened athlete will respect video from the UT-UCLA finals at the most recent World Cup.
  • One (1) copy of the rules, available for free on the IQA website.

Now, get out on the pitch! Have fun, play hard, and leave the books at home. This is for real!

Harrison Homel

Harrison Homel is Teams Director for the International Quidditch Association. He is a veteran of two quidditch teams, most recently UCLA's.