Quidditch Through the Ages Read online

Page 5



  whereby the Keeper swerves around all three goal hoops at high speed to block the Quaffle.

  Hawkshead Attacking Formation

  Chasers form an arrowhead pattern and fly together towards the goalposts. Highly intimidating to opposing teams and effective in forcing other players aside.

  Parkin’s Pincer

  So named for the original members of the Wigtown Wanderers, who arc reputed to have invented this move. Two Chasers close in on an opposing Chaser on either side, while the third flies headlong towards him or her.

  Plumpton Pass

  Seeker move: a seemingly careless swerve that scoops the Snitch up one’s sleeve. Named after Roderick Plumpton, Tutshill Tornado Seeker, who employed the move in his famous record-breaking Snitch catch of 1921. Although some critics have alleged that this was an accident, Plumpton maintained until his death that he had meant to do it.

  Porskoff Ploy

  The Chaser carrying the Quaffle flies upwards, leading opposing Chasers to believe he or she is trying to escape them to score, but then throws the Quaffle downwards to a fellow Chaser waiting to catch it. Pinpoint timing is of the essence. Named after the Russian Chaser Petrova Porskoff.

  Reverse Pass

  A Chaser throws the Quaffle over one shoulder to a team member. Accuracy is difficult.

  Sloth Grip Roll

  Hanging upside down off the broom, gripping tightly with hands and feet to avoid a Bludger.

  Starfish and Stick

  Keeper defence; the Keeper holds the broom horizontally with one hand and one foot curled around the handle, while keeping all limbs outstretched (see Fig. G). The Starfish without stick should never be attempted.

  Transylvanian Tackle

  First seen at the World Cup of 1473, this is a fake punch aimed at the nose. As long as contact is not made, the move is not illegal, though it is difficult to pull off when both parties are on speeding broomsticks.

  Woollongong Shimmy

  Perfected by the Australian Woollongong Warriors, this is a high-speed zig-zagging movement intended to throw off opposing Chasers.

  Wronski Feint

  The Seeker hurtles towards the ground pretending to have seen the Snitch far below, but pulls out of the dive just before hitting the pitch. Intended to make the opposing Seeker copy him and crash. Named after the Polish Seeker Josef Wronski.

  There can be no doubt that Quidditch has changed beyond all recognition since Gertie Keddle first watched ‘those numbskulls’ on Queerditch Marsh. Perhaps, had she lived today, she too would have thrilled to the poetry and power of Quidditch. Long may the game continue to evolve and long may future generations of witches and wizards enjoy this most glorious of sports!

  1 Equivalent to over a million Galleons today. Whether Chief Bragge intended to pay or not is a moot point.

  2 The right to carry a wand at all times was established by the International Confederation of Wizards in 1692, when Muggle persecution was at its height and the wizards were planning their retreat into hiding.