I'm guessing most of you are familiar with the game and know some of the rules, but I will explain everything anyway.
The game is played on an oval pitch by two teams, seven people on each and four balls. It's an air game played on brooms. The players are as follows: one Keeper, two Beaters, three Chasers and one Seeker. And the balls: one Quaffle, two Bludgers and a Golden Snitch.
The Keeper guards goal posts, the Beaters hit the Bludgers away from their team and towards the opponent with bats, the Chasers pass the Quaffle and try to score by throwing it at the opponent's goal posts and the Seeker looks for the Snitch and tries to catch it.
Each goal brings 10 points. Catching the snitch brings 150 points and marks the end of the game. The game last until the snitch is caught or an agreement between the captains is reached. The longest recorded game lasted 3 months apparently. (Wow!)
The pitch is oval shaped, as I mentioned before and it's 150m long and 55m wide. There are three hooped goal posts on each end of the pitch all with different heights (9.1m, 12m, 15m). There's small central circle from where the balls are released.
Rules & Fouls
Here are some of the official rules(taken from Wikipedia):
- Players must not stray over the boundary lines of the pitch, although they may fly as high as desired. The Quaffle must be surrendered to the opposition if any player leaves the boundary. Quidditch matches in the Harry Potter films, however, show players often deliberately flying over the boundary lines and even around the spectator towers.
- A time out may be called at any time by a team Captain. It may be extended to two hours if a game has already lasted for more than twelve hours. Failure to return to the pitch afterward disqualifies the offending team.
- The referee can impose penalties if a foul occurs. A single Chaser from the fouled team takes a penalty shot by flying from the central circle towards the scoring area. The opposing team's Keeper may attempt to block this shot, but no other player may interfere.
- Contact is allowed, but a player may not grasp another's broomstick or any part of his or her body.
- No substitution of a player is allowed, even if one is too badly hurt to continue (rare exceptions may be made when the game continues for a great length of time, and players become too fatigued to continue).
- Players may take their wands onto the pitch, but they must not be used on or against any players, any player's broomstick, the referee, any of the four balls, or the spectators.
- Players are not allowed to attack one another by wand, any part of body or broom at any times—the only legal attack against opposite players is Bludgers hit by team's beaters.
I was surprised when I found out fans have turned it into a real sport. I admire their enthusiasm to bring to life such a game, I really do, but I can't help thinking that running around with a broom between your legs is just ... stupid. You can read more on Muggle Quidditch on the IQA website.