They’re playing quidditch - a sport invented by Harry Potter author J.K Rowling and so obscure it took 5 minutes to convince autocorrect it was in fact the word I was going for.
The game has been rising in popularity over the last decade and has adapted for those born without magical abilities (a.k.a “muggles”). Captain James Mortensen told the ABC that while he initially got involved with the sport to impress a girl, he eventually ’fell in love with it’.
‘I love that it's the only sport that I've ever seen that rewards quick thinking as much, if not more than strength or speed.
‘So being the biggest, fastest or nastiest person on the pitch isn't going to save you, ‘ he says.
Quidditch for Muggles:
- Players are required to run with a ‘broom’ between their legs at all times
- Points are scored by passing a ball called the ‘quaffle’ through goal hoops at the opposite ends of each pitch.
- Each team has defensive players who throw dodgeballs known as ‘bludgers’ - if struck by a bludger the player must drop any balls they’re holding and return to their own goal before rejoining play.
- The final ball is known as the ‘snitch’ and in the Harry Potter universe, flits around of its own accord until caught by a player known as the seeker. In this game the snitch is attached to the waistband of a neutral participant who runs around avoiding both teams’ seekers. Once the seeker catches the snitch, the game ends.