This Saturday and Sunday, the AJ Bell Stadium will be hosting the Championship of the Quidditch Premier League.
Taking place in one of the best sporting cities in the world, the elite quidditch players in the UK and Europe will compete for the title of national champions, as sixteen teams come together to battle for the top title.
Last season, the London Monarchs won the 2018 Championship, claiming the trophy and holding the title for now. This year, the event is free and open to the public, with matches running from 9am until 7pm.
The event will also be livestreamed on the Quidditch Premier League’s Facebook page.
‘I can’t wait to see another year of hard work and athleticism come to a climax in Manchester this year,’ said Jack Lennard, Director of the Quidditch Premier League. ‘Not only do we have the top players from the UK coming to the AJ Bell Stadium, but, for the first time in the league’s history, we have teams from across Europe coming to compete. I’m so proud to be part of a sport that celebrates our international and global reach, and delighted to be at the forefront of showcasing that.’
The Quidditch Premier League (QPL) is an elite quidditch league that represents the sport in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The league is composed of seventeen teams – four in the UK North Division, four in the UK Central Division, four in the UK South Division, and five in the Europe Division (unfortunately the Lille Géants cannot attend this weekend). The QPL season runs from June to August, with each team playing three divisional fixtures. The playoffs include all seventeen teams competing in the QPL Championship weekend in late August, with the winning team being named as the QPL Champions for that season.
A quidditch team consists of 21 athletes with 7 players per team on the field at any one time. Each player has a broom between their legs. The four-maximum rule of quidditch states that at most there can be four players of the same gender on pitch at one time. This ensures that the game is mixed gender and inclusive to all.
Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, quidditch has developed into its own sport, with 20,000 competing international players, over thirty competing countries, and an international rulebook.