I am confused. And not because I have to hold a one-meter-long plastic pole between my legs as a substitute for a broom. After the first few throws I got used to having only one hand free. And this one just grabs a volleyball.
And now? What do I have to do as a jager? "Beware, drivers", shouts a teammate. Shortly after that a volkerball hits me. I have to stop the attack and run back to my goals, only then am I allowed to actively intervene in the game again. In real life, the harry potter sport quidditch is quite crazy.
"There is so much happening at the same time", says lucia boll of the bamberg kelpies, where i am doing my first quidditch training. "There are actually three games going on at once, which is why it is so fun." Teammate andreas knecht adds: "the team dynamic is unique in this form. From the classic passing game to the running game to the full-contact sport, it’s all there." Or to put it in sports terms: quidditch is a mixture of handball, volkerball and rugby.
Funf balls in the game
And that is what makes it so tricky. There is not just one ball in the game, but five. The quaffel (volleyball), three claps (volkerballe) and the schnatz (tennis ball). In addition, there are four positions per seven-headed team with different tasks: jager, huter, treiber, seeker. The players romp around on a pitch as rough as half a football field. There are three goals – or rather rings – on each of the baselines into which the quaffle has to be thrown.
So far so good – if it weren’t for the rulebook, which is 137 PDF pages long on the homepage of the international quidditch association (IQA). "But it’s actually quite simple, says boll. "Whoever collects the most points wins." Ten points are awarded for a quaffle thrown through the rings, 30 for a snitch caught. As soon as the tennis ball wrapped in a sock is torn from the waistband of the impartial snitch runner, the game is over.
The first moment of happiness
In the meantime, about 15 minutes have passed since my first haphazard attack action. I intercept an attack of the opponents, four quick passes and my final throw finds its target. Cheering breaks out – with me also in large part because of the subsequent drink break. The tempo is extremely high. Attack and defense alternate constantly. Even in the scramble for the ball, it is important to assert oneself. In addition, there are the extra spurts to one’s own goal after dropping the ball with the clapper. Although spurts don’t apply to me: it’s more like a trot – the bad condition is noticeable.
Harry potter is a curse and a blessing
"Running is more exhausting than flying", a teammate draws a comparison with quidditch in the harry potter novels. But the books and the book by the author joanne K. Rowling’s fantasy universe is both a curse and a blessing for the real players. On the one hand, most players come to quidditch through harry potter, on the other hand, the fantasy world makes the road to the sport being taken seriously more rocky.
"We are still often laughed at and have to work on clarification", says boll. Except for a few terms and the brooms, the real game was redeveloped by U.S. Students in 2005 as a homage to the literary model. "Almost every high school movie features football. But still, no one thinks of football as a high school movie, says knecht. "I would like it to be similar for quidditch. We still have to establish ourselves." But with the IQA, which is constantly improving the infrastructure, they are on the right track.
I am also on a good way. The next training game helps to understand the sport even better. I am now a driver. My goal: to protect teammates when they have the ball and to temporarily take the opponent out of the game with targeted throws. My success: poor. I actually only run after discarded bales. It quickly becomes clear how much tactics are involved in this sport. A good driver can have a big impact on the game. He must be on the ball, have the entire field in view and make lightning-quick decisions in the interests of his team on every play. This team spirit is another positive aspect of quidditch. The team has to function, an individual fighter will quickly give up.
Totally exhausted, but enthusiastic
And so, after one and a half hours of training, i am not only exhausted, but also enthusiastic. I have not met any harry potter freaks who want to get as close as possible to their fantasy role model and hop around on brooms in wizard uniforms. I have met sports enthusiasts who share a common hobby. And this one has it all: dynamic, complex, run-intensive, team-oriented, tactics-driven – and after a short time, no longer confusing.
European championship in bamberg
The quidditch european championship takes place in bamberg this weekend. 20 national teams battle for the title at fuchs-park stadium.
German team believes it has a chance of winning a medal. Recently it has established itself among the top 5 in europe. 7th place at the 2018 world cup and 5th place at the 2017 european championship speak for themselves. Great britain took the title with a final victory over france – these two nations are also hot contenders for gold in bamberg. Germany competes in group C with belgium, austria, scotland and opening opponent switzerland. The tournament starts on saturday at 9 a.M., up to five parts will be played at the same time. Germany competes for the first time at 10 a.M. The day ends with the 6 p.M. Games. On sunday, the placement matches will also begin at 9 a.M., culminating in the finals at 6 p.M.
"It’s hard to predict the number of spectators", says the EM press officer henriette schreurs. "But we hope that we can match the numbers of the world cup 2016 in frankfurt." Back then, several thousand spectators took the opportunity to watch real quidditch at its highest level. Tens of thousands more followed the tournament on livestream. This time, too, there will be live broadcasts on the internet platform youtube.
These are the bamberg kelpies
The bamberg kelpies were formed in august 2016 and named after a mythical creature from celtic mythology. The rough horse-like water dragon also appears in the harry-potter universe. The bamberg quidditch team is a division of FC eintracht and is mainly made up of students.
The team does not (yet) take part in the league operation. "For this we had to have more players who are regular participants", says kelpie player lucia boll. 14 players are currently registered in the department.
"We are happy about everyone we can inspire for our sport", says boll. "Just come and participate." The kelpies train on mondays (20 to 21.30 o’clock) on the artificial turf in the sports park and wednesday (18.30 to 8 p.M.) on the uni-sportgelande in volkspark. For more info, visit the kelpies facebook page or email quidditchbamberg@outlook.Com