Photo cred - Ben Holland Photography for McGill University Quidditch

Us muggle-borns may not be able to fly on broomsticks, but at McGill University, you can pretend you're a wizard while playing the favourite game of the wizarding world with the university's two campus Quidditch teams. Yup, McGill has not just one, but two Quidditch teams, and as weird and nerdy as that sounds, you know you want to play, if only to just live out your circa '97 Harry Potter fantasy.

Originally created at Middlebury College in 2005, "Muggle Quidditch" is a lot like its fictional-magical counterpart. Played on a large soccer field, all the positions from the books play on soccer field (seeker and snitch included) as two teams made up of men and women "ride" on their broomsticks and try to score as many points as possible. Again, basically the same setup as the books, but with people running around with broomsticks between their legs instead of flying in the air.

McGill gained its first official Quidditch team, suitably titled McGill Quidditch, in 2008, the first of its kind in Canada. The large amount of interest propogated a second team, Canada’s Finest Quidditch Club, and both are active competitors in international Quidditch competitions, such as the Quidditch World Cup. Yes, the Quidditch World Cup is a thing (now entering it's 7th year) with McGill Quidditch ranking 21st out of 80 teams in 2014.

As silly as it sounds, Muggle Quidditch is surprisingly more intense (this nerd has played) than you'd think. For one, the game is full contact, with keepers and chasers fully allowed to tackle each other, all while bludgers toss volleyballs at players, forcing anyone hit to reset their position on the field. Think of it like rugby + dodgeball + hide 'n seek, the last part coming from the seeker and snitch, the latter being an actual person dressed in yellow who is allowed to run around wherever on campus as the seeker chases them down. It's a strange mix of elements that work surprisingly well together.

To learn more about McGill's Quidditch teams, and how you can join in on one of their open practices, head to the group's official website and Facebook page here.

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte

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