To some it may be an imagined sport, but for the players at the Quidditch World Cup on July 24, the competition was very real.
The sport played by young witches and wizards in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels is played in real life by competitors with sticks between their legs representing broomsticks.
Teams from across the world battled at the International Quidditch Association World Cup in the German city of Frankfurt.
To score points, players must throw the ball through hoops while chasing the elusive ‘snitch,’ embodied by a player with a tennis ball swinging from their trousers in a sock.
“The community’s just amazing. You can see there’s people from all different countries around the world, and it’s just.. you meet people, a lot of really, really interesting and amazing people and I love it,” United States player Celen Richard said.
Quidditch was adapted in 2005 by students at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Since then, the sport has spread to dozens of countries and has some 700 teams, mainly based in the United States and largely at colleges and universities.
Meantime, Australia outmaneuvered the competition to win the 2016 Quidditch World Cup.