Spain is better known for being a country of die-hard soccer lovers, but quidditch is quickly gaining popularity.
Leave it to Spain to get on the Harry Potter train so late in the game, but hey, better late than never. And Spaniards are knownfor being late. Or is that Cubans? Or is it an overall Hispanic thing?
A team in Madrid is doing their best to keep the sport alive. “The Local” visited Madrids Complutense University on a windy and cold February morning to get a better idea what these youths actually do to bring the magical storybook game to life.
The Madrid Lynx team don purple brooms between their legs as they chase a dancing golden snitch down the field and try to avoid any quidditch related-injuries.
The players take quidditch very seriously, although they always manage to incorporate that happy-go-lucky Spanish attitude. They wear team uniforms, quidditch strip of purple, black and yellow, emblazoned with the team logo, a growling yellow lynx.
Now we all know that humans cant fly yet. So how do these Quidditch players actually play?
“Well, we cant fly,” says Bea López, whose head is wrapped in a quidditch scarf, “were working on that but give us time.”
Rather than flying, the team places the emphasis of the game on violence and tackling. It takes elements of rugby and handball, with all of the bashing, tackling and occasional bloody injuries they entail.
One player sits cradling his bleeding foot, while another girl is helped off the pitch after being bashed in the nose during a particularly dirty tackle, reports the Local.
“Quidditch in the books looks really violent and to be honest thats the same here,” said referee Jean Blake as two players crash into each other behind her. “Its more violent than you could ever imagine.”
The Madrid Lnyx team has travelled all around Europe playing quidditch teams from other countries. Three of the girls love quidditch so much that they got matching tattoos of the three hoops on their wrists.
The players dont stop the fun when they leave the field. Many players say they have found their boyfriend or girlfriend through playing for the team.
“We have a lot of slang around it, like you have a ‘quidditch crush,’” says Blake.
The U.S. has a small quidditch population and some universities offer the game for students such as Emerson College in Boston and the University of California in Los Angeles.
Check out a video of the team below: