When UCLA first debuted its Quidditch team in 2014, people believed it was simply a bunch of muggles wishing they could be a part of the magical world of wizardry. Now, two years later, the team is explaining why the sport is so much more than pretending to fly around on a broom. It's actually quite hardcore and requires a lot of strength and endurance.
"The sport has really involved into something that is far more competitive, physical, and athletic," a player tells Mashable in an interview.
Believe it or not, but the founder of the UCLA Quidditch team had never actually read any of the Harry Potter books or seen any of the movies. "We don't try to distance ourselves from Harry Potter, but we are very distinctly not a Harry Potter club," explains Lauren Fitzgibbon, the vice-president of the team.
That said, the game isn't that much different from the make-believe sport we all know so well. (Instead of brooms though, the UCLA team uses sticks.) There are four positions, starting with chasers. Their objective is to use a deflated volleyball (also known as a quaffle) and run it through one of three hoops on each side of the field. Every hoop is worth 10 points.
Then, there are the feeders who use a dodgeball (or bludger as it's known in the HP books) to hit members of the opposing team. If hit, you have to drop your "broom," as well as whatever balls you have in hand, run back to your set of hoops, and tag-in before you can keep playing.
Just like the books, the seeker is arguably the most important player on the team. Their goal is to chase after the "golden snitch," which is actually a person wearing yellow shorts, with a ball dangling down their lower back (and yes, we know what you're thinking) (get your mind out of the gutter). Once the ball is caught, the game is over and the opposing team earns 30 points. Overall, the sport is an unusual mix of both magical and muggle quidditch to create a mixed-gender, full-contact sport that is hardcore AF.
Watch it in action in the video below.