Quidditch is a mixed gender contact sport with a unique mix of elements from rugby, dodgeball, and tag. A quidditch team is made up of seven athletes who play with brooms between their legs at all times. While the game can appear chaotic to the casual observer, once familiar with the basic rules, quidditch is an exciting sport to watch and even more exciting to play. The full rulebook can be downloaded here.
Three chasers score goals worth 10 points each with a volleyball called the quaffle. They advance the ball down the field by running with it, passing it to teammates, or kicking it. Each team has a keeper who defends the goal hoops. Two beaters use dodgeballs called bludgers to disrupt the flow of the game by “knocking out” other players. Any player hit by a bludger is out of play until they touch their own goals. Each team also has a seeker who tries to catch the snitch. The snitch is a ball attached to the waistband of the snitch runner, a neutral athlete in a yellow uniform who uses any means to avoid capture, and who is released at the 20 minute mark. The snitch is worth 30 points. There is also a point cap of + 70 added to the leading score at 20 minutes and either team reaching that score or catching the snitch ends the game. If the score is tied, the game proceeds into overtime.
During play, players are forbidden from taking certain actions, or fouls. Players who commit fouls face different consequences depending on the severity of the offense. A back to hoops foul indicates that a player must stop and return to their hoops, as though knocked out. A yellow card indicates that a player must spend one minute in the penalty box. A red card indicates that a player is barred from the rest of the game.
The Gender Maximum Rule
During a seeker floor (which is the first 20 minutes of a quidditch game during regulation time), a team may not have more than four players who identify as the same gender in play. Upon the expiration of the seeker floor (which is when seekers are released) and for the entirety of the overtime period, a team may not have more than five players who identify as the same gender in play for the remainder of the period. The gender that a player identifies as is considered to be that player’s gender. This is referred to as the gender maximum rule. USQ accepts those who don’t identify within the binary gender system and acknowledges that not all of our players identify as male or female. USQ welcomes people of all identities and genders into our league.
Every quidditch league in the world has some version of the gender maximum rule.