Don't be alarmed if you see a lot of people running around Grosvenor Park with broomsticks between their legs on Sunday (June 22) - it’s just a quidditch tournament.
Chester Chasers, the University of Chester’s quidditch team, will host a national competition of the sport conceived by J K Rowling in her famed Harry Potter series, in which players will compete for their counties.
The 20-strong team of students and graduates formed in September last year and within four weeks of climbing atop their broomsticks for the first time, they played at the British Quidditch Cup.
Chester Chasers’ head of gameplay Peggy Cook described the ‘incredibly fun full contact sport’ as a combination of rugby, dodgeball and hide and seek.
“The basic rules of muggle quidditch are very similar to the fictional sport in Harry Potter, the main difference being our broomsticks don't give us the ability to fly,” Peggy said.
“When I joined I thought that it would be mainly Harry Potter fans as most people assume, but there are quite a few people who play for the fun of the sport and a few players who came to practices to make fun of the nerds playing sports and found that actually they really enjoyed it.”
In muggle quidditch, the all-important snitch is a tennis ball dropped in the bottom of a yellow sock and tucked in the back of the shorts of the snitch runner, who can run anywhere on and off the pitch.
Most recently, Chester Chasers came 5th in the Northern Squirrel Quidditch Cup at Keele University and 2nd in the Whiteknights Tournament.
Such is the prowess of the team, two of its beaters will represent the UK in the International Quidditch Association’s Global Games in Vancouver next month.
The tournament will be held from 10am to 5pm and spectators are welcome to attend.
For more information about Chester Chasers, visit their Facebook page.