Quadball is a fast-paced, tactical sport that is being played in mixed-gender teams. It is the sport formerly known as quidditch, which was first adapted to the real world in 2005 United States. Since then, the sport has developed into an international phenomenon with tens of thousands of players around the world and rules that actually make sense in a non-magical world.
Quadball is a team sport, played with seven players on pitch. Players are distributed over four different positions that each come with a different job: chasers, keepers, beaters and seekers. Three chasers and one keeper per team try to score goals by throwing a volleyball through the opposing team’s hoops, each worth 10 points. Two beaters per team throw dodgeballs at the opposing players to briefly knock them out of the game and disrupt the other team’s flow. And one seeker per team tries to catch the flag, a tennis ball that is inside a piece of cloth attached with velcro to the pants of a neutral player. When the flag is caught (yes, this used to be called the snitch), the successful team gets 30 extra points and the game is often over.
While on pitch, each player needs to be mounted on a broom, a PVC pipe they carry between their legs. This adds a handicap and additional tactical element to the game, as players need to balance being able to run fast with being able to use both hands to catch a ball or tackle an opponent. The brooms also help us to keep track of who is allowed to participate in active play and who got knocked out by an opposing beater.
Quadball is a full-contact sport, with physical contact rules that are relatively similar to rugby. In case you’re worrying about how to tackle another player while both of you have a broom between the legs – just pass by one of our trainings, it is surprisingly intuitive!
Quadball is played in mixed-gender teams, and there are even rules to ensure playtime for everyone: out of the seven players on pitch at the same time, a maximum of four players are allowed to be of the same gender. This specifically refers to gender, not biological sex, to create an open space for non-binary and transgender players. The quadball community is actively working towards being inclusive for players from all backgrounds and gender identities, and encourages players to identify their personal strengths and use them to their advantage – it’s pretty easy to outplay a strong defender by being faster, more agile or just smarter.
Quadball in the Netherlands and beyond
Quadball has been around in the Netherlands since 2014 and is organized by the Nederlandse Quadbalbond (NQB). We compete with other teams in a Dutch Quadball League and play one or two Dutch tournaments each season. There is even a Dutch national quadball team, and many of our players have travelled to European and World Cups to represent the Netherlands on pitch.
Outside of the Netherlands, most of our European neighbours have a well-developed quadball scene as well, and we regularly visit or are visited by our German neighbours for friendly matches. Once a year, the top European quadball teams compete at the European Quadball Cup, which we have qualified for every year since 2019.