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Quidditch: Harry Potter and the Wizardly Workout

Written on July 15, 2011 at 9:04 am , by

Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern

(Photo by Jocelyn Bowman)

Don't get caught by the Seeker! (Photo by Jocelyn Bowman)

Being a fitness fan, of course, one of the things that always intrigued me about Harry Potter was the sport Quidditch. The game once reserved for students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (for all you non-Harry Potter fans, this is the school that Harry and his pals attend) has made its way to the muggle (translation: non-magical) world. In fact, it’s quite the trend: More than 2,000 athletes will participate in this year’s Quidditch World Cup, taking place in New York City on November 12 and 13.

The Northeast appears to be the hot spot for what the International Quidditch Association (IQA) claims is “the fastest-growing sport in the United States.” According to the IQA, the most registered teams hail from New York (39), Masschusetts (22) and Pennsylvania (20). But “28 states and counting” have Quidditch teams, many of which are connected to colleges.

Each team consists of seven players: one Keeper, one Seeker, two Beaters and three Chasers; of course, there is also a Snitch who is a neutral player. With feet firmly on the ground, as opposed to the high-flying version they play at Hogwarts, Quidditch becomes a combination of rugby, dodge ball and flag football.

We spoke with Troy Stanford and Winter Schwaid-Lindner of the IQA to find out how to get fit for each position.

  • Chasers: pass and score.
  • How to train: Chasers are comparable to soccer players. The position involves plenty of running, but is also very physical, so muscular legs and a strong back and core are essential. “Chasers should swim to help build core and back muscles. Cycling is also a great Chaser exercise to help build leg muscle,” Stanford says.
  • Keepers: block goals into the three goal hoops from the opposing teams chasers.
  • How to train: “If you are a Keeper I would suggest weight training and core exercises,” Stanford explains. “Keepers tend to have more of a muscular build and are similar to wrestlers or lacrosse players.”
  • Beaters: protect teammates from objects thrown by the opposing team that are meant to knock them off course; throw these objects at the other team.
  • How to train: “Beaters are one of the least physical positions of the game, but they should mix Keeper and Chaser training for the best results,” Stanford says. Powerful arm muscles are imperative for this position because it requires accurate aim. “The Beaters have bludgers (slightly deflated dodgeballs), and they throw them at other players to get them out,” Schwaid-Lindner adds.
  • Snitches: avoid capture by either team.
  • How to train: The Snitch position requires the widest range of training. According to Schwaid-Lindner, the snitch is “ideally an attention seeking cross country runner with some background in wrestling and gymnastics.” Not sure how to train for that? Try some cardio-kickboxing, Tai Chi or even capoeira classes.
  • Seekers: try to catch the snitch.
  • How to train: “Seekers should run as much as possible since their only job is to find, chase, and catch the Snitch,” Stanford says. He also recommends a combination of swimming and weight training to help with the capture of the Snitch, who does whatever she can to avoid being caught.

For more information on the rules of Quidditch and how to get involved, visit the International Quidditch Association website!

Now tell us: What character from Harry Potter would you most like to join you during your next workout?

  • Rachel

    They don’t kiss after she kills Nagini – they kiss after she stabs the golden cup with the basilisk fang. NEVILLE kills the snake, which is by far one of the best moments in the movie. Are you sure you saw it??

  • Theresa K Brady

    Thanks for the refresher, Rachel! We did see the movie and just got a little caught up in all the action. Hope you enjoyed the film!!

  • George

    Rachel…she stabs the Cup in the Chamber of Secrets. So technically the article is correct. Are YOU sure you’ve read the book?

  • Macy

    I think Harry stabs the diary in the Chamber of Secrets with the basilisk fang, and Hermione stabs the tiara with the basilisk fang in the Deathly Hallows?

  • Maddy

    Excuse me. I’m a beater and I’m extremely offended by this article. “Least physical”? Have you ever played beater? Have you ever had to wrestle the opposing beater to the ground to defend/obtain a bludger? Have you ever had to run after an extremely fast chaser while aiming at him/her? I can honestly say that I get hit more as a beater than I do as a chaser or keeper, both of which I’ve played.

    Also, as well as being just as physical, beating requires a lot more attention to the game than chasing. A chasers goal is to get the ball and score, or to block the ball from getting to the other teams’ players. Beaters have to be aware of how many bludgers your team has, who the important players on the other team are, as well as playing their own position and beating the other team!

    So please, do your research next time, and maybe try out all the positions for a significant amount of time before dubbing one as “least physical” because that’s just insulting and untrue.

  • Cowknee

    The tiara is destroyed in the room of requirement by fire. The cup is destroyed in the chamber of secrets with a basilisk fang in the deathly hallows. The diary was destroyed in the chamber as well but in the second book and movie.

  • lol