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Go! Go! Fight! Fight! Gryffindor will win tonight!

David Beckham. Michael Jordan. Wayne Gretzky. They’re the best of our athletes but they’re no Oliver Wood. Though we go crazy over World Cup matches and Stanley Cup finals, sports without broomsticks just aren’t as fun. Luckily for us non-magical folk, Muggle Quidditch is creeping over campuses across the continent, and you can bring it to your backyard too! To get all the fun of swooping after Snitches and cheering for the Chudley Cannons without worrying about He-Who Must-Not-Be-Named, follow these simple steps:

1. For goalposts, set up hoola hoops at either end of a large backyard or field. You can either hang them on tree branches, or tape them to PVC pipes stuck in the ground. Decide on the rest of the boundaries for the Quidditch pitch.

2. Gather fifteen players, and divide them into two teams of seven, with the remaining player acting as the Snitch Runner. She should be dressed in yellow or gold, and have a tennis ball in a sock tucked into the back of her shorts. Equip all team members with broomsticks. They must be mounted on their brooms to play.

3. Have five balls in play. The three Chasers on each team try to kick or throw the Quaffle (a slightly deflated volleyball) into the goalposts of the opposite team. It’s up to the Keepers to stop them. Each team’s two Beaters throw three Bludgers (slightly deflated dodgeballs) at the other players in the hopes of “knocking them out.” If you’re hit by a Bludger, you’ve been “knocked out” and can’t play until you run back and touch your own set of hoops. The final ball in a game of Quidditch is the Snitch, carried by the Snitch Runner, who isn’t restricted to the playing field. Chased by each team’s Seeker, he can run wherever he likes. In fact, he’s encouraged to do more than run: borrowing bikes and climbing up trees are strongly encouraged! The game only stops when a Seeker pulls the Snitch from the back of the Snitch Runner’s shorts.

4. Remember that each goal is worth ten points, while the Seeker who catches the Snitch earns an additional thirty points for his team.

5. Let the games begin!

For all fifty-four pages of Muggle Quidditch rules, visit the International Quidditch Association’s website.

Photo by Pioneer Library System via Flickr

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