Sports are pretty awesome. Who doesn’t like to sit down with a cold beer and watch some baseball or basketball or hockey? But did you ever sit down and think about how strange most sports are? Sure, we who are used to them know and love them, but their rules and traditions might seem strange to an outsider. For instance, North Americans might balk at cricket’s complicated scoring system and seemingly endless games, but the fans in all the former Commonwealth countries — not to mention the entirety of India — can’t be wrong. All sports are pretty awesome in the eyes of their fans, but there are some sports that are definitely weirder than others. We already exposed you to some of them in an earlier article, but there’s plenty more zany athleticism to read about!
Yes, that’s the broomstick-based sport from the Harry Potter series. Yes, the real-life version requires the use of broomsticks. No, the broomsticks don’t fly. “Muggle Quidditch” was first played at Middlebury College, Vermont; now this half-joking sport boasts 170 teams in the US alone and a growing international contingent. Just as in the books, the chasers or keepers must get the quaffle (a slightly deflated volleyball) through the opposing team’s three hoops, while the opposing team’s bludgers try to stop them via thrown kickballs. Anyone hit by the hopefully-soft kickballs must dismount their broom and touch one of their team’s goals to get back into play. The seeker, a position played by Harry Potter himself, chases the Golden Snitch, which is a magical winged ball represented in the non-magical game by a fast-running person with a tennis-ball tail. Once the Snitch’s tail is caught, the game is over — assuming that happens before someone drops their broom and quits “because this is silly”.