This weekend was the annual Quidcamp, which was held at Berry Sport and Rec, bringing together Quidditch enthusiasts from all over the country. With a great roll up of around 120 players, the camp included a range of skills sessions on Saturday, as well as the hotly contested 'state of origin' match on Sunday.
I don't think I could've come across a more interesting and engaging sport for my first Adventure Explorer activity feature!
Other than having seen it fleetingly in Harry Potter, I'd never actually come across Quidditch as a sport until now, but it's been active in Australia since about 2011! So how can I describe it? It's like this wicked mix of dodge ball, basketball, rugby and capture the flag all rolled into one! It's at first confusing to watch, but after a few rounds I started to pick up on what was going on and it was awesome! So rather than me doing a rubbish job of describing how the game works, I've pinched the US Association's quick guide:
For a more detailed description go to their website.
Anyway back to the game itself and Quidcamp. I had the opportunity to have a good chat with the camp organiser and president of the Wollongong Warriors team, Morgan Legg, as well as fellow enthusiast, Chrystal Player from Sydney, who were both really accommodating with all my questions and able to fill me in on exactly what was going on, both on and off the field!
Over the weekend there were a range of skill development workshops to help players learn survivability on the field, how to tackle, how to roll and how to improve their overall game play. Don't be fooled by the Harry Potter origins of this sport! This game is not for the faint hearted. Try running with a stick between your legs whilst people are throwing balls at you (bludgers) and others trying to take the main ball (quaffle) from you before you can score by throwing it into one of three hoops at the end of the field! It's physical, it's intense, it's crazy busy on the field, but most of all, it's awesome to watch!!!
On the field, it's 7 a side at any given point in time, with a total team of 21, who can be subbed on and off. For inclusiveness there's the gender maximum rule of 4, which means there can only be up to 4 players of the same gender on the field at any point in time. This makes it a truly co-ed sport and for me this is an awesome aspect of the game.
In talking with Morgan, I asked about how something like the gender maximum rule affects the game and how important inclusiveness is to the social aspect of the sport. Her response was refreshing, as often other major sports don't value diversity in the way they perhaps could, or should. "Community is a really important thing and Quidditch is welcoming of everyone," remarked Morgan, "This is how we set ourselves apart from other groups." It's a sport "where everyone is important and everyone on the field has an effect."
Quidditch is built on three pillars or the '3Cs' of Competition, Community and Creativity, which encourages everyone to get involved be active and do their best. This kind of philosophy is close to my heart and one that I try to impart on those I teach. I really loved the drive and enthusiasm which everybody brought to the game.
All I can say, as an outside observer looking in, Quidditch is a fun, exciting and challenging game and something I really want to try! I only wish they had cool things like this going on when I was at uni!
So how can I give this a red hot go?
There are clubs in each state, so the best place to start is by checking out the national website and find the closest club! Go along, watch and hopefully get to try a game! You know you want to!
AQA - Australian Quidditch Association