Culture

Australia’s About To Defend Its Title In The Quidditch World Cup, Because Who Needs FIFA?

The other World Cup you should have your eye on.

Turns out the FIFA World Cup isn’t the only world cup Australia has coming up — the Quidditch World Cup is just around the corner, and the Australian team is actually tipped to win.

See, we’re kind of a big deal in Quidditch. The reigning world champions, in fact. Our team is affectionately known as the Dropbears, and they’re heading to Florence, Italy in two weeks for the fourth ever Quidditch World Cup.

Quidditch is based on the flying broom sport from Harry Potter, but it’s also been an actual real world sport since 2005. It’s full contact and mixed gender, and players grip brooms between their legs while they run around the field.

Here’s how it works: each team has three Chasers, wearing white headbands, who are aiming to pass the Quaffle (a slightly deflated volleyball) through any of three hoops. Each team also has a Keeper, in a green headband, who functions basically as any goalkeeper does, trying to stop the Chasers from scoring.

Then there are two Beaters, wearing black headbands, who control three Bludgers (slightly deflated dodgeballs), which they throw at opposing team players. Anyone hit with a Bludger must drop any balls they’re carrying, dismount their broom, and touch their team’s goal hoops to re-enter play.

Just like in the books, there’s also a Seeker, wearing a gold headband, whose aim is to catch the Snitch. The Snitch is also a person, with a velcro tag attached to them for the Seeker to try to grab. And that’s it: seven players on each team, absolute madness on the field.

Australia’s sending 29 players out to the World Cup this year (this game gets tiring, and it pays to have subs). That’s only a fraction of the Australian Quidditch-playing population, though — there are more than 30 competitive Quidditch teams in the country, and over 1000 players.

At the World Cup this year, there’ll be at least 29 teams from around the globe to beat, but the Dropbears are pretty confident they have it in them. The tournament goes from June 27 to July 2, and it’ll be livestreamed if you’d like to watch.

You can find out all about that and more at the Quidditch Australia website. Keep them in mind while you’re going nuts about the football.