Arts, Lighter, Sports

Quidditch Tournament In Ottawa This Weekend


Ryerson quidditch team; image:
Ryerson quidditch team; image:

The Ryerson University quidditch team is going to a tournament in Ottawa this weekend.

You heard right – the Ryerson quidditch team. You may remember quidditch as the game Harry Potter and his friends play in the popular series of books by J. K. Rowling. She invented the game, just as she invented Harry Potter’s world.

Fans of Harry Potter in England, the United States, Canada and other countries have created a “muggle”* version of the game.

One Ryerson player says it’s kind of a mish-mash of rugby, flag football, basketball and hide-and-seek all rolled into one great game.

Players don’t fly, of course, but they do have to run on the field with brooms between their legs. Not only is that difficult, but it can make the game a bit rough.

Teams have seven players: three chasers, two beaters, a keeper and a seeker – just like in Harry Potter.

The chasers try to throw a volleyball through the goal (which is on top of a wooden pole); the beaters try to hit the opposing team with dodgeballs. If you get hit, you have to run back to your goal before you can get back into the game. The keeper tries to prevent players from scoring a goal.

Most interesting of all is the “snitch,” a player on each team who wears a sock with a ball in it – tucked into the back of his or her shorts. Just like in the books and movies, if you capture the snitch you score a lot of points – in this case, 30 points. The snitch can run anywhere on the field and even leave the field for five minutes. They can climb trees and hide if they want, to avoid having their sock-ball captured.

The quidditch tournament in Ottawa includes seven Canadian university teams: Ryerson, University of Toronto, McMaster, Ottawa, McGill, Queen’s and Carleton. In November, the Ryerson team will be in New York for the world championships.

This article was written using information from an article published in the Toronto Star, by sports reporter Joseph Hall.

*A “muggle” is a non-magical person (in the Harry Potter books). (This article was updated thanks to a comment from a reader, who let us know that Queen’s will also be at the tournament.)

Here is a terrific video from The Star with a Ryerson quidditch player who explains what the game is like.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Pick your favourite book and create a game that is based on the characters and events in the book.  Make sure you identify where the game should be played, the goal of the game (how to win), how to play, and the materials you need in order to play.  Then try to play the game with your classmates and/or friends!

Reading Prompt: Comprehension Strategies
There are several rules in Quidditch.  Read the text carefully and picture how to play the game in your mind.  Once you have a clear picture, watch the video.  Was your visualization of the game close to what the Ryerson student describes?
How does visualization help you when you are reading?

Primary and Junior
Identify a variety of reading omprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand texts (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand increasingly complex texts (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Grammar Feature: Italics
When we use italics, we write words in a way that make them look slanted or written in cursive.  The journalist uses italics at two different times in this article.  First, identify these two times.  Why do you think she chose to use italics?  Are italics used in the same way?  Do italics change how you read the text?