Preston has a magical new sports team which is not defying gravity despite competing on ‘broomsticks’.
A bunch of avid Harry Potter fans have set up a quidditch team called Preston Poltergeists and are taking on other fans of author JK Rowling’s magical world.
In the Harry Potter books, Quidditch is an all-action game with seven players all flying through the air on broomsticks and a magical golden snitch with a life of its own.
But despite the fact they cannot fly and the balls are not infused with magical powers, UCLan TV production student Becky Miller, 23, from Barrow, who founded the group and a bunch of other enthusiasts are taking part in a grounded version of the game that she says is like ‘rugby, volleyball and handball’ all rolled into one.
She said: “People always ask do you fly? How does the snitch work?
“Is it a real thing? Some people don’t take it seriously and then others are like ‘wow!’”
Quidditch has only just taken off in the UK despite being a popular ‘sport’ in the USA for over a decade.
Oxford, Durham and Warwick universities are the cream of the crop in the UK and Becky explains why she was inspired to start the club.
She said: “I started the club in my second year.
“I saw some information about it on the internet and I went to the student union with the idea and then set it up and it started properly in 2014.
“I had to get 10 signatures to set up the club and then we had 15 people at the taster session and it has gone from there.
“It works the same as it does in the books but it is like a mix of rugby, dodgeball and handball. I’m a massive Harry Potter fan and I’m not much of a sporty person I wanted to do something and give it a shot and this sounded perfect.
“Next week we have a tournament in Leeds so we are going well.”
A spokesman from Quidditch UK added: “Inspired by JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, quidditch is now a competitive sport with 32 teams who compete against one another in regional and national tournaments. There are four key roles in each team: three chasers who score goals through hoops; two beaters who knock players out of the game with dodge balls; a keeper who guards the hoops; and a seeker who catches the game-ending snitch.
“The snitch is a neutral player dressed in yellow who has to dodge the seekers for as long as he/she can.”
All you need to know about Harry’s game
Quidditch - the rules
• Players can be one of four positions:
• Keepers - Guard the hoops from opposing chasers.
• Chasers - Throw the quaffle through the opposite team’s hoops to score goals worth 10 points.
• Beaters - Throw bludgers at the opposing team to ‘knock them out’ and make them return to hoops.
• Seekers - Catch the snitch (worth 30 points) to end the game.
• A team of 7 will have 1 Keeper, 3 Chasers, 2 Beaters and 1 Seeker.
• A game of quidditch involves three types of balls:
• The Quaffle - a semi-deflated volleyball thrown through the hoops by chasers and keepers.
• Bludgers - dodgeballs thrown at other players by beaters.
There are 3 bludgers on the pitch.
• The Snitch - a tag attached to the snitch runner’s shorts. When caught by either team’s seeker, the game ends.