By Sam Robertson , Special to The Chronicle
If you've read the popular "Harry Potter" series, you're probably familiar with the fictional sport of Quidditch. What you may not know is that Quidditch is in fact a real sport, and a popular one on Hofstra's campus.
The game is played by two teams, made of seven people each, trying to score goals by getting the ball, called a Quaffle, into one of three goal posts.
Each team has three Chasers, two Beaters, one Keeper, and one Seeker, all on flying broomsticks.
The Chasers are in charge of scoring goals.
The Beaters use "bludgers," another type of ball, to knock the other team's players off their brooms, while keeping the bludgers away from their own teammates.
The Keeper guards their goal posts to prevent the other team from scoring.
The Seeker has a very unique job: their goal is to catch the Golden Snitch. In the books, the Snitch is a small golden ball that speeds around the Quidditch pitch. In "muggle" or real Quidditch, the Snitch is a person dressed in yellow who outruns the Seekers. Once caught, the team whose Seeker caught the Snitch is awarded 150 points and the game ends. The winning team is whoever has the most points at the end of the team – and it isn't necessarily the team who caught the Snitch.
The game played on college campuses across the world is as close to real Quidditch as muggles (non-magical person) can get. The players still play on broomsticks and all the rules are basically still the same, with the exception of a few modifications. For example, in the muggle version, catching the Snitch only awards you 30 points in comparison to the 150 points it's worth in the books.
They also make a few modifications to make up for any lacking magical abilities. In the books, the Snitch is enchanted to be extremely hard to catch. Keeping with that idea, the muggle version uses an actual person instead of a ball to represent the Snitch. The player who takes on the position of the Snitch dresses in all gold and is allowed to do anything necessary to evade capture, including climbing trees and using water guns in addition to physical contact.
Despite the elements of make-believe, Quidditch is very much a real sport. Quidditch has all the aspects of more "traditional" sports such as running, tackling, and shooting, but they are put together in a creative way. Some even say it's more difficult than other sports, considering everything is harder while holding onto broomsticks. If you're still skeptical about Quidditch, the only way for you to fully understand is to go out and watch a game!