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Ancient Broom Games

- Chapter 2
QA2: Ancient Broom Games

Ancient broom games that were popular prior to the development of Quidditch are discussed.

Calendar and Dates

The chapter mainly discusses broom games between the 10th and the 18th centuries.

Tenth century (A.D. 901-1000)
The Annual broom race of Sweden begins. This is still a popular yearly event.

A.D. 1105
The painting Gunther the Violent Is the Winner features the German broom game of Stichstock.

Eleventh century (A.D. 1001-1100)
A tragic Gaelic poem mentions Creaothceann.

Fourteenth century (A.D. 1301-1400)
Stichstock dies out.

A.D. 1762
Creaothceann made illegal.

present day
The Herefordshire broom game of Swivenhodge is sometimes still played in England. Shuntbumps, which came from Devon, only exists as a children's game.

Interesting facts and notes

Much of the Lexicon's information on brooms games played on brooms, other than Quidditch, comes from this chapter.

All of the broom games mentioned in the chapter, other than the two originating from England - Swivenhodge (a kind of tennis or netball on brooms) and Shuntbumps (jousting on brooms) - seem extremely dangerous and involve the possibility of serious injury to the players. The introduction of Quidditch isn't going to change things much.

Broom sports emerged almost as soon as broomsticks were sufficiently advanced to allow fliers to turn corners and vary their speed and height.

These points are made again later: that the most important elements of a broom's performance are its manoeuvrability, speed, and altitude.

The game [Stichstock] ended when the bladder was successfully punctured, or the bladder-guardian had either succeeded in hexing all opponents out of the running or collapsed from exhaustion.

It does sound like this German broom game would be a thrilling spectator sport.

One by one the players would take the Dom, or ball (actually the gallbladder of a goat), and speed through a series of burning barrels set high in the air on stilts.

Aingingein, a broom game from Ireland, also sounds exciting, even with the fire danger involved. The wizard Fingal the Fearless is said to have been an Aingingein champion.

The game [Creaothceann] was made illegal in 1762, and though Magnus 'Dent-Head' Macdonald spearheaded a campaign for its reintroduction in the 1960s, the Ministry of Magic refused to lift the ban.

As the Scottish broom game of Creaothceann involves attaching cauldrons to the flyers' heads in which they catch flying rocks, the Ministry was probably wise not to allow its reintroduction. If Macdonald was participating in illegal games that would also explain his colourful nickname.

Characters Introduced

Commentary

Related images:

 

Lexicon timeline of Quidditch

Lexicon list of Broom Manufacturers

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