Harry Potter game brought to life in British Quidditch Cup at Rugeley - with video
Hundreds of Seekers, Chasers, Snitches and Beaters descended on a Staffordshire town this weekend - for the Harry Potter-inspired British Quidditch Cup.
Rugeley Leisure Centre once again played host to as many as 700 broom-riding competitors from around the country in what organisers hailed as the most exciting contest to date.
Out of 32 teams taking part during the two-day competition Nottingham-based team the Velociraptors came out on top triumphing over the Bristol Brizzlebears by 260 to 60 in Sunday's final.
Mel Piper, President of QuidditchUK,said: "This has been the most exciting British Quidditch Cup to date, with the quality of gameplay between teams being absolutely inspiring. The finals between the Velociraptors and Brizzlebears were the culmination of a hard year of training, and QuidditchUK congratulates the Velociraptors with their hard-fought victory."
Velociraptors captain Tom Heynes, added: "It's a fantastic feeling winning the final, some great games we've had along the way, and the best tournament we could have hoped for. I like to thank all the players for putting their hearts into the team, and the fact we only came in a year ago was fantastic, and it means so much to everyone involved."
While the sport owes its existence to J.K. Rowling's smash hit wizarding series of books and films, it is far from an annual gathering of Potter fans dressed as Harry and Hermione.
Quidditch is fast, physical, competitive and tactical with organisers hailing it as the most progressive sport in the world due to its gender inclusivity rule which stipulates no more than four players on the teams of seven can be of the same gender.
That said it is as faithful recreation to the once fictional game as technologically possible - sadly their are no flying brooms. But all players have to hold a stick between their legs which serves as a meaningful handicap and helps Quidditch standout from other territorial based sports.
Potter fans will be familiar with the concept. There are seven players. The Chasers throw the quaffle - a semi-deflated volleyball - to each other and through their opponents hoops to score points - 10 for each score.
The Keepers try and keep the Quaffle out.
The Beaters on each team throw Bludgers - dodgeballs - at the Chasers to distract them and make them return to their end of the pitch if they get hit.
Enter the Snitch - a neutral player with a tennis ball stuffed into a sock attached to their shorts which each team's Seekers must catch. When they do the game ends. The trick is to catch the Snitch when your team is winning which sometimes means the 'losing' Seeker may look to defend the Snitch - until the scores are reversed.
The Staffordshire town was hailed a success again this year and could be on for hosting the event for a third time in a row next year.
QuidditchUK spokesman Tom Ffiske added: "It is a really good location. All of the teams seem happy there.
"We had a really good reaction this year particularly from local taxi firms who kept asking why so many people had descended on Rugeley for the weekend. When they said 'For a Quidditch tournament' they just replied asking 'what?'"
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