Quidditch was well established
in Ireland by the a fourteenth century, as proved by Zacharias Mumps's
a t of a match in 1385:
"A team of Warlocks from Cork flew over for a game in Lancashire
and did offend the locals by beating their heroes soundly. The
Irishmen knew tricks with the Quaffle that had not been seen in
Lancashire before and had to flee the village for fear of their lives when
the crowd drew out their wands and gave chase."
Diverse sources show
that the game had spread into other parts of Europe by the early fifteenth
century. We know that Norway
was an early convert to the game (could Goodwin Kneen's cousin Olaf
have introduced the game there?) because of the verse written
by the poet Ingolfr the Iambic in the early 1400s:
Oh, the thrill of the chase as l soar through the air
With the Snitch up ahead and the wind in my hair
As I draw ever closer, the crowd gives a shout
But then comes a Bludger and 1 am knocked out.
Around the same time, the French wizard Malecrit wrote the following
lines in his play Helas, Je me suis Transfigure Pieds ("Alas, I've
Transfigured My Feet")
GRENOUILLE: I cannot go with you to the market today Crapaud.
CRAPAUD: ButGrenouille, I cannot carry the cow alone
GRENOUILLE: You know, Crapaud, that I am to be Keeper
this morning. Who will stop the Quaffle if I do not?
The year 1473 saw the first ever Quidditch World Cup, though the
nations represented were all European. The nonappearance of teams
from more distant nations may be put down to the collapse of owls
bearing letters of invitation, the reluctance of those invited to make
such a long and perilous journey, or perhaps a simple preference
for staying at home. The final between Transylvania and Flanders
gone down in history as the most violent of all time and many of
the fouls then recorded had never been seen before for instance, the
transfiguration of a Chaser into a polecat, the attempted decapitation
of a Keeper with a broadsword, and the release, from under the
robes of the Transylvanian Captain, of a hundred blood - sucking
The World Cup has since been held every four years, though it was
not until the seventeenth century that non - European teams turned
up to compete. In 1652 the European Cup was established, and it
has been played every three years since.
Of the many superb European teams, perhaps the Bulgarian Vratsa
Vultures is most renowned. Seven times European Cup winners,
the Vratsa Vultures are undoubtedly one of the most thrilling teams
in the world watch, pioneers of the long goal (shooting from well
outside the scoring area), and always willing to: give new players
a chance to make a name for themselves.
In France the frequent League winners Quiberon Quafflepunchers are
famed for their flamboyant play as much as for their shocking -
In Germany we find the Heidelberg Harriers, the team that the Irish
Captain Darren O'Hare once famously said was "fiercer than a
dragon and twice as clever." Luxembourg, always a strong Quidditch
nation, has given us the Bigonville Bombers, celebrated for their
offensive strategies and always among the top - goal - scorers.
The Portuguese team Braga Broomfleet have recently broken through
into the top levels of the sport with their groundbreaking Beater -
marking system; and the Polish Grodaisk Goblins gave us arguably
the world's most innovative Seeker, Josef Wronski
Australia and NewZealand
Quidditch was introduced to New Zealand some time in the seventeenth
century, allegedly by a team of European herbologists who had
gone on an expedition there to research magical plants and fungi.
We are told that after a long day's toil collecting samples, these
witches and wizards lrt off steam by playing Quidditch under the
bemused gaze of the local magical community. The New Zealand
Ministry of Magic has certainly spent much time and money preventing
Muggles getting hold of Maori art of that period which clearly
depicts white wizards playing Quidditch (these carvings and paintings
are now on display at the Ministry of Magic in Wellington).
Among the best are the Moutohora Macaws (New Zealand), with their
famous red, yellow, and blue robes, and their phoenix mascot
The spread of Quidditch to Australia is believed to have occurred
some time in the eighteenth century. Australia may be said to be an
ideal Quidditch - playing territory, given the great expanses of
uninhabited outback where Quidditch pitches may be established.
Antipodean teams have always thrilled European crowds with their
speed and showmanship. The-ThundelarraThunderers and the
Woollongong Warriors have dominated the Australian League for the
best part of a century. Their enmity is legendary among the
Australian magical community, so much so that a popular response
to an unlikely claim or boast is "Yeah, and I think I'll volunteer to
ref the nextThunderer Warrior game."
The broomstick was probably introduced to the African continent by
European wizards and witches travelling there in search of
information on alchemy and astronomy, subjects in which African
wizards have always been .particularly skilled. Though not yet as
widely played as in Europe, Quidditch is: becoming increasingly
popular throughout the African continent.
Uganda in particular is emerging as a keen Quidditch playing nation.
Their most notable club, the Patonga Proudsticks, held the
Montrose Magpies to a draw in 1986 to the astonishment of most of
the Quidditch playing world. Six Proudstick players recently
represented Uganda in the Quidditch World Cup, the highest number
of fliers from a single team ever united on a national side. O
Another African team of note is the Tchamba Charmers (Togo) who
has mastered the reverse pass.
The Gimbi Giant-Slayers (Ethiopia) won the All-Africa Cup two times.
The Sumbawanga Sunrays (Tanzania) is a highly popular team whose
formation looping has delightedted crowds across the world:
Quidditch reached the
North American continent in the early seventeenth century, although it
was slow to take hold there owing to
the great intensity of anti - wizarding feeling unfortunately exported
from Europe at the same time. The great caution exercised by
wizard settlers, many of whom had hoped tofind less prejudice in
the New World, tended to restrict the growth of the game in its early
In later times,
however, Canada has given us three of the most accomplished Quidditch teams
in the world: the Moose Jaw
Meteorites, the Haileybury Hammers, and the Stonewall Stormers.
The Meteorites were threatened with disbandment in the 1970s
owing to their persistent practice of performing post - match victory
flights over neighbouring towns and villages while trailing fiery
sparks from their broom tails. The team now confines this tradition
to the pitch at the end of each match and Meteorite games
consequently remain a great wizarding tourist attraction.
The United States has
not produced as many worldclass Quidditch teams as other nations. because
the game has had to compete
with the American broom game Quodpot. A variant of Quidditch, Quodpot
was invented by the eighteenth - century wizard Abraham
Peasegood, who had brought a Quaffle with, him from the old country
and intended to recruit a Quidditch team. The story goes that
Peasegood's Quaffle had inadvertently come into contact with the
tip of his wand in his trunk, so that when he fiinally took it out and
began to throw it around in a casual manner, it exploded in hia
face. Peasegood, whose sense of humour appears to have been robust,
promptly set out to recreate the effect on a series of leather balls
and soon all thought of Quidditch was forgotten as he and his friends
developed a game which centred on the explosive properties of the
newly renamed "Quod."
There are eleven players
a side in the game.of Quodpot. They throw the Quod, or modified Quaflle,
from team member to
member, attempting to get it into the "pot" at the end of the pitch
before it explodes. Any player in possession of the Quod when it
explodes must leave the pitch. Once the Quod is safely in the "pot"
(a small cauldron containing a solution which will prevent the Quod
exploding), the scorer's team is awarded a point and a new Quod
is brought on to the pitch. Quodpot has had some success as a
minority sport in Europe, though the vast majority of wizards remain
faithful to Quidditch.
The rival charms of Quodpot
notwithstanding, Quidditch is gaining popularity in the United States.
Two teams have recently
broken through at international level: the Sweetwater All - Stars
from Texas, who gained a well - deserved win over the Quiberon
Quafflepunchers in 1993 after a thrilling five day match; and the
Fitchburg Finches from Massachusetts, who have now won the US
League seven times and whose Seeker, Maximus Brankovitch III, has
captained America at the last two World Cups.
Quidditch is played throughout Sonth: America, though the game must
compete with the popular Quodpot here as in the North.
Argentina and Brazil both reached the quarter - finals of the World
Cup in the last century.
Undoubtedly the most skilled Quidditch nation in South America is
Peru, which is tipped to become the first Latin World Cup winner
within ten years. Peruvian warlocks are believed to have had their
first exposure to Quidditch from European wizards sent by the
International Confederation to monitor the numbers of Vipertooths
(Peru's native dragon). Quidditch has become a veritable obsession
of the wizard community there since that time, aid their most famous
team, the Tarapoto Treef Skimmers, recently toured Europe to
Quidditch has never achieved great popularity in the East, as the
flying broomstick is a rarity in countries where the carpet is still the
preferred mode of travel. The Ministries of Magic in countries such
as India; Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, and Mongolia, all of whom
aintain a flourishing trade in, flying carpets, regard Quidditch
with some suspicion, though the sport does have some fans among witches
and wizards on the street. The exception to this general rule
Quidditch has been gaining steadily in popularity over the last
century. The most successful Japanese team, the Toyohashi Tengu,
narrowly missed a win over Lithuania's Gorodok Gargoyles in 1994.
The Japanese practice of ceremonially setting fire to their brooms
in case of defeat is, however, frowned upon by the International
Confederation of Wizards' Quidditch Committee as being a waste of