Between popped bludgers, the new mouthguard requirement, and all the innovative broom designs out there…there’s always a reason to shop for new quidditch equipment. Whether you’re a brand new team, or a veteran squad, chances are you need some fresh gear this season!
To help with your back-to-pitch shopping, USQ has created an Equip Your Team Shopping List, as well as suggestions of how to get the best bang…or broom…for your buck!
According to Rulebook 9, there must be three hoops on each goal line. The hoop heights must be 3 feet, 4.5 feet, and 6 feet. The inner diameter of each loop must be between 32-34 inches.
Photo by Alex Amodol
Photo by Alex Amodol
If professionally made hoops are not in your budget, no worries! You can score some DIY options.
The quickest, and cheapest set includes duct-taping a hula-hoop to the top of a large and readily available object (chairs, trash bin, etc.). Of course, these sets aren’t very stable, and it may be hard to meet the USQ parameters with these homemade hoops, but it’s a quick and cheap option for teams just starting out.
If you have a bit more time and money, consider a trip to your local hardware store to fashion yourself a set of sturdier hoops.
2x sheets 4/8' 3/4" Plywood
6x 2" Floor Drain (Shower)
6x 2"-1/2" Reducer Coupling
3x 10' 1 1/2" PVC Pipe
To be cut into poles… have them cut at the store if you don't have a saw!
6x 1 1/2" PVC Tee
12x 1 1/2" - 3/4" Reducer Coupling
Roll of PEX Tubing
100' is recommended, because the size is cost effective for extra material.
PVC Cutter Box of Screws (1 1/4")
Cut the plywood sheets into two matching circles, screwed together, and then sanded down, sealed, and painted. It’s recommended to cut a handle into the base, about 1 ½” from the edge, and sized to fit the average hand!
It’s also important to note that the base can technically be made out of anything; people have used PVC bases or plywood squares, and you can always ask the hardware store for advice. It would certainly make their day!
Rulebook 9 dictates that brooms must be between 32-42 inches long, excluding bristle length. The total broom length, when including bristles, can’t exceed 48 inches.
There are a few broom providers, the most popular of which are Alivan's and Peterson’s. When choosing a broom, consider your position; some seekers prefer brooms with bristles, because it makes the broom harder for snitches to steal, while physical players may choose a smaller or smoother broom to avoid bristle burn and decrease the risk of broom-based injuries.
Brooms are probably the easiest equipment to make for cheap; topped-off PVC pipe is the most common makeshift broom, but any polished pole or stick within the proper size requirements will work just fine!
According to the Rulebook, a snitch must be a spherical ball consisting of a fabric cover 8.5 inches in circumference…usually that just means a tennis ball. The snitch is held within a sock of 10-12 inches, tucked in or attached to the snitch runner’s shorts.
Like most of the equipment mentioned in this article, you can purchase a professional pair of snitch shorts from Peterson’s. The shorts run big and loose, so keep that in mind when selecting a size. If you’re a snitch that prefers tight-fitting shorts, you might consider making your own!
If you’d rather make your own snitch shorts, the good news is it’s pretty simple! You can shove a tennis ball into any sock and knot it until it’s 10-12 inches long. Then, just stick it into your shorts bands!
If you’re thinking seriously about snitching, however, you should try to secure the tail a little better, and buy some Velcro to sew onto your shorts and snitch sock.
Also, as snitching goes, the yellow-er, the better-er!
For the 2015-2016 season USQ regionals and the US Quidditch Cup, the official quaffle will be the Baden Matchpoint size five. However, any deflated volleyball between 25.6 and 26.4 inches in circumference will work, so don’t be afraid to scope out your local discount store or Walmart!
There are no official bludgers for the US Quidditch Cup, and any flexible rubber ball sized 8.5 inches in diameter, and 26.7 inches in circumference will work. People usually just grab a couple of dodgeballs, though.
Pro-tip: Be sure to buy a pump, as well, to inflate and deflate the balls as necessary. If the Patriots have taught us anything, weather can really take its toll on ball inflation!
Now that mouthguards are required by Rulebook 9, many quidkids are on the search for the perfect guard. Every sporting goods store will be stocked with tons of options, but quidditch players have come to prefer SISU mouthguards, because the light design allows athletes to easily talk, breathe, and drink while playing.
As you probably know, each position has their own headband color: white for chasers, green for keepers, black for beaters, and yellow for seekers.
USQ sells their own branded headbands, and Peterson’s offers both solid and reversible options, but ultimately any sweatband, handkerchief or headband will do…shop around, and see what works for your team!
It’s also smart to invest in some tried-and-true practice gear. Many sports teams practice with cones, pinnies, whistles, clipboards, etc. to make sure they’re ready to run drills, play scrimmages, and hunker down for some gameplay strategy sessions.