The Hogwarts History of Sports Festival

This year, our sports festivals will have a Harry Potter twist, as our children will represent one of the Hogwarts houses in a number of activities inspired by J.K.Rowling’s ‘Quidditch Through the Ages’ book. Watch your children earn points for Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw by competing in a number of fun, unique tasks adapted specifically for our children.

Quidditch

Enrich Education will be delivering Quidditch sessions and matches for our children during the festivals. These sessions will introduce the game to the children and provide them with the opportunity to take part in a number of Quidditch themed activities.

Ancient Wizardry Games

The children will also take part in a number of adapted versions of ancient wizardry games. From protecting an inflated dragon bladder in the game of ‘Stichstock’ (pronounced sht-ik-stock) to catching falling rocks in cauldrons on top of their heads in the game of ‘Creaothceann’ (pronounced creff-key-on), the children will experience and learn about how each of these games influenced the creation of Quidditch. Below are details of the history of the ancient wizadry games:

Annual Broom Race

The annual broom race is held in Sweden and has been contested since the tenth century. Entrants race a course of 437 miles from Kopparberg to Arjeplog. The course runs through a Swedish Short-Snout dragon reservation, and the enormous silver trophy is in the shape of Swedish Short-Snout. Currently, it is an international event, with wizards and witches from all over the world attending, seeing off the competitors at Kopparberg, then apparating (magical method of transportation) to Arjeplog to welcome the survivors. The races are the fundamental basis of Quidditch, as all players are on broomsticks for the entirety of the matches. Furthermore, the seeker’s role of catching the snitch is best suited to the best flier in the team.

Creaothceann (pronounced creff-key-on)

Creaothceann originated in Scotland, and is regarded as the most dangerous of all broom games. Creaothceann players were equipped with a broomstick and wore a cauldron strapped to their head. At the start of the game - signified by the sounding of a horn or drum - a hundred rocks and boulders that had been charmed to float a hundred feet above the ground began falling to the ground. The players then zoomed around the field, trying to catch as many rocks in their cauldrons as possible. Kennilworthy Whisp, Quidditch expert and author of Quidditch through the Ages, speculates that the rocks from Creaothceann may have inspired the Bludgers used in Quidditch.

Stichstock (pronounced sht-ik-stock)

Stichstock is an ancient wizarding game played on broomsticks that originated in Germany. The game consisted of a single twenty-foot pole topped with an inflated dragon bladder. One player on a broomstick, known as the bladder-guardian, was tied by a rope to the pole, and given the task of defending the bladder. The rope was tied around their waist, and prevented the player from moving more than ten feet away from the pole. The other players would then take it in turns to try and puncture the bladder using the sharpened end of their broomsticks.

The bladder-guardian was allowed to use their wand to defend the bladder. The game ended only when the bladder had been punctured, the bladder-guardian had hexed all other players, or when the bladder-guardian collapsed from exhaustion. Kennilworthy Whisp, Quidditch expert and author of Quidditch through the Ages, speculates that this game inspired the keeper position in Quidditch, as it is their role to guard the goal hoops just like it was the bladder-guardians role to guard the dragon bladder.

Aingingein (pronounced ayn-gin-gain)

The game of Aingingein originated in Ireland and was the subject of many famous ballads. Each player would take the Dom (a goat's gallbladder) and fly through a series of burning barrels, each set high upon stilts, on a broomstick. The Dom would then be thrown into the final barrel. The winner was the player who completed the task in the shortest time without catching on fire. The legendary wizard Fingal the Fearless was said to have been an Aingingein champion. Kennilworthy Whisp, Quidditch expert and author of Quidditch through the Ages, states that Aingingein inspired the chaser position in Quidditch, as it is their role to carry the quaffle and throw it through one of the goal hoops to score points.

Shuntbumps

Shuntbumps was a popular game in Devon, England. Players would attempt to knock as many other players off their broomsticks as possible. The winner was the last player still mounted on their broom. Shuntbumps is still played, but only as a children's game. Kennilworthy Whisp, Quidditch expert and author of Quidditch through the Ages, believes that this game is the reason why so many seekers get injured in Quidditch, as they are often knocked off their brooms by opposition players in order to prevent them from catching the golden snitch.