UK third as Aussies win Quidditch World Cup

Australian Quidditch players celebrating after winning the Quidditch World Cup Image copyright Nic Hirst
Image caption Australia beat the USA to claim their first Quidditch World Cup

The UK Quidditch team have won their first world cup medal, finishing third as Australia took the title.

The game is adapted from the magical sport played on broomsticks in JK Rowling's Harry Potter books.

Team UK beat Canada 190-60 to claim bronze - a performance described as "incredible" by Quidditch UK.

The USA had won both previous Quidditch World Cups, in 2012 and 2014, but Australia caught the snitch to snatch victory at the tournament in Frankfurt.

The tournament on 23 and 24 July was the biggest Quidditch World Cup to date, with 21 teams from countries including Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Ireland and Mexico taking part.

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Media captionWatch Quidditch being played at the world cup

Quidditch UK president Mel Piper said the result showed the game was no longer "completely dominated" by the USA, where it first started being played in 2005.

She added: "The fact that we came third is incredible.

"It shows just how much the UK has grown as a nation and the potential we still have to give."

How is Quidditch played?

Image copyright EPA

Each player must carry a broom between their legs.

Teams consist of 21 players, with seven on the field at any one time. No more than four of the seven can be of the same gender.

The team is made up of a keeper, who guards three goal hoops, and three chasers who try to throw a ball - the quaffle - through the opposition hoops, which scores 10 points.

There are also two beaters, who throw balls called bludgers at opposition players. If hit, a player must drop any ball they are holding and run to touch one of their own goal hoops before re-entering play.

Finally there is the seeker, whose job is to catch the snitch. This scores 30 points and ends the game.

The role of the snitch is taken by a neutral person with a Velcro tail attached to their shorts.

The Australian team - known as the Dropbears after fictional animals made up to scare tourists - caught the snitch to end the game and win the final 150-130.

The team posted on Facebook: "We are The Dropbears. We came here to take the fight to America. We came here to show the international Quidditch community what we're made of.

"And we did it. This team went from strength to strength over the past four months. The Australian Quidditch community could not be prouder."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Italy and Belgium were among the teams at the tournament in Frankfurt
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Throwing the quaffle through any of the goal hoops is worth 10 points

The Australian media praised their victorious team, dubbing them the "mighty Dropbears" and saying they had brought "joy to Aussies and Harry Potter fans the country over".

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