On Sunday night, the Australian Dropbears beat the US National team in the Quidditch World Cup grand finals in Frankfurt, Germany.
The final score was 150*-130 with the snitch caught by Australia, giving them the win.
Quidditch is a fictional sport played by characters in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter fantasy-fiction book series. Though the game is played on flying brooms, muggles (non-magical folks) appropriated the game for the ground, with the aptly-named version, 'Ground Quidditch'.
This is the first time Australia has won the World Cup and the first time a country other than the United States has won the event.
SBS spoke to Dropbears beater, (whose role is to temporarily deactivate players on the opposing team by throwing dodgeballs at them) Luke Derrick, about the win which he says he still finds unbelievable.
“I am still in shock and it’s been about 7.5 hours since we won. I couldn't believe it, that's the first time anybody has ever beaten the American Quidditch team and I don't think any of us could believe it at all,” he says.
The Quidditch World Cup, which occurs every two years, has taken place three times since 2012. Both 2012 and 2014 cups were won by the US team.
Derrick is also captain of the University of Sydney Union and the NSW state Quidditch teams. The national team captain is James Mortenson.
The rules of Quidditch typically state a goal (the primary mode of earning points in the game) is worth 10 points each, while the team to capture the snitch (and thereby end the game) earns an additional 150 points, which can usually make or break the game. However, Derrick says, in this final the snitch was worth only an additional 30 points.
Nonetheless, it was enough to make a difference for the Aussie team with the seeker catching the snitch and giving the Dropbears the extra 30 points they needed to secure a win.
Derrick recalls the atmosphere on the pitch being “absolutely insane” with crowds cheering for Australia to change ground Quidditch history.
“Loads of people were cheering for us as they all wanted to see history being made and when it happened everybody stormed the field and went crazy!” he says. “The crowd has been amazing with their support all weekend.”
Ground Quidditch is played in countries across the world, and is a growing sport in its own right. The Australian national competition called ‘The QUAFL Cup’ held by Quidditch Australia annually has been running for nearly six years. In the US, the sport has been played competitively since 2005.
The sport is also growing on an international scale, too, with intra-continental tournaments taking place.
“There was also a European Games last year where Europeans countries competed and France won,” says Derrick.
However an international World Cup has yet to take a similar hold, but it's definitely getting there and fast, says Derrick:
“This one has by far being the biggest with three times as many teams as last time – seven last time, 21 this time.”