Thirty-two teams from across the UK will congregate in Rugeley, Staffordshire to fight for the title of the third annual British Quidditch Cup.
The game, which was inspired by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, consists of teams of seven who use offensive and defensive players to score as many points as possible into the three hoops. Bonus points can be made by capturing the Snitch, a small tag attached to the shorts of a neutral player.
The Midlands will be well-represented in the tournament - with five teams all looking to beat reigning champions Southampton. Some of the top teams set to compete are:
- Nottingham Nightmares
- Leicester Thestrals
- Loughborough Longshots
- Warwick Quidditch Club
- Keele Squirrels
The sport is governed by QuidditchUK who manage the centralised rulebook, tournaments and growth of the sport as well as liaising with international governing bodies.
The organisation has been recently accepted as a member of the Sports and Recreation Alliance, who work alongside sporting organisations such as the Football Association, Rugby Football Union, and UK Athletics.
The Nottingham Nightmares, Warwick Quidditch Club, Keele Squirrels and Loughborough Longshots are among the top favourits of the tournament and will be competing in the European Quidditch Cup in April.
The British cup will be the largest national championship in Europe, select members of competing teams will go on to represent the UK national team at the World Cup in Germany, hosted in July.
How does Quidditch work?
- A quidditch team consists of 21 athletes with 7 players per team on the field at any one time.
- Each player has a broom between their legs. The rules states that at most four players on the pitch at any one time can be of the same gender. This ensures that the game is mixed gender and inclusive to all.
Players can be one of four positions:
- Keepers - Guard the hoops from opposing chasers and become a 4th chaser on offence.
- Chasers - Throw the quaffle (a semi-deflated volleyball thrown through the hoops) through the opposite team's hoops to score goals worth 10 points.
- Beaters -Throw bludgers (dodgeballs) at the opposing team to 'knock them out' and make them return to hoops.
- Seekers - Catch the snitch (a tag attached to the snitch runner's shorts worth 30 points) to end the game.
A team of 7 will have 1 Keeper, 3 Chasers, 2 Beaters and 1 Seeker.
- Read more: Beginner's guide: How to play Quidditch