Scottish researchers issue quidditch health warning

Quidditch is based on a game in the Harry Potter novels. Picture: Creative Commons
Quidditch is based on a game in the Harry Potter novels. Picture: Creative Commons
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It’s the biggest sport in the wizarding world, but now muggles have been issued with a safety warning.

Quidditch, the fictional sport played on broomsticks in the Harry Potter series has found a following among non magic folk (muggles) across the world.

They may not be able to take to the skies like their literary counterparts but the past time is still fraught with hazards, a health study has found.

The research - led by Edinburgh University’s medical school - issued a warning about the competitive nature of the game.

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A paper in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy found it can lead to high rates of concussion among players, prompting experts to draft guidelines to improve the game’s safety.

In the fictional version players use flying broomsticks.

In the fictional version players use flying broomsticks.

Quidditch is a fast growing, physically intense, full-contact sport. Originally adapted from JK Rowling’s novels, quidditch was first played in 2005 in the USA but is now played worldwide.

Two teams attempt to get a ball, the ‘quaffle’, through tall standing hoops. The game only ends when ends if another ball, the ‘snitch’ is caught.

A total of 348 participants of 684 eligible quidditch players responded to the health study. There were 315 injuries reported by 180 athletes in total, an overall incidence of 4.06 injuries per 1,000 hours of play.

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A statistically significantly different rate of concussion was observed with female athletes in the mixed gender sport sustaining more concussion than males.

Over 20 per cent of quidditch injuries reported were described as ‘concussion’.

This is relatively high when compared to other full contact sports, for example amateur rugby union where concussion constituted 4.7 per cent of the injuries reported.

The authors concluded: “there is a high incidence of concussion in quidditch which needs to be explored in future research. In the interim, education around the recognition and management of concussion should be made a priority.”

Earlier this year it was announced Scotland’s first national quidditch team will compete in the Quidditch Premier League.

The elite league that represents the muggle version of the sport in the United Kingdom will have a team representing Scotland. The sport has around 20,000 competing international players in 25 countries.

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