The Socumentaries: Quidditch and Harry Potter Society

Not sure if you want to take the plunge into the dizzying world of the University’s 200+ societies? Don’t know your Blowsoc from your Bladesoc? The Socumentaries team endeavours to sample as many societies as possible so you don’t have to.

Soc-umentary – A factual article about a society, presenting the facts with little or no fiction. As in, ‘Did you see that socumentary about Fashion ? That shit cray.’

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Boring old sods in the comment section of Daily Mail articles say that the youth of today are lacking in imagination and the desire to leave their costly games consoles to brave the wild outdoors. But the magic I experienced on a dreary, and very windy Wednesday afternoon on the Downs would have really shocked them.

That’s right – despite the high winds that would have rendered any other sport treacherous, Quidditch, already a death-defying game, could go ahead.



Open to everyone (including muggles) the Quidditch powers-that-be are extremely welcoming. There are no Draco Malfoys here, and even Slytherin are all right. There are two versions available to play: the cleverly named UoN Rules, which combines the rules of netball and dodgeball to create an entertaining game played between the four Hogwarts Houses; and the IQA rules (International Quidditch Association – yes, it really does exist) which is reserved only for the brave and the bold. This involves the whole shebang of having a broomstick, looking like a wally, and chasing a man with a ball hanging in a sock from his waist… otherwise known as the snitch – you don’t want to be swallowing this one.

IQA is played between universities, and I have it on good authority that Nottingham have established quite the rivalry with Oxford. Brutal physical contact is the phrase of the day, and pretty much anything goes – especially where Oxford is concerned.



Upon arrival I spoke to the sorting hat, (more of a person than a hat) and was promptly placed in Hufflepuff – the house of unrelenting averageness. We beat those Ravenclaw losers… I always knew intelligence was overrated. On the adjacent pitch a fierce Derby-day atmosphere was forming in the air, worse than anything known to the non-wizarding world. That’s right, Gryffindor were taking on Slytherin. Hardcore.



After the initial ‘Oh my God, what am I doing on a broomstick’, and the sudden realization that my four year degree, and thousands of pounds worth of education has culminated in playing a game from a children’s book (my parents would be so proud), I got intensely involved. Its fair to say that I had a great time, even if I did knock over more goals than I scored. Luckily for me, the seasoned veterans are very patient. Once you’re over the idea of having to hold on to your broom at all times (letting go is punishable by running the length of the pitch), it’s really a matter of just going for it, and running, always running – bloody bludgers.

The dastardly mix of rugby, dodgeball, handball, football and running around in the mud makes Quidditch really entertaining.

James Mason

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