While muggles have had their eyes fixed on the football, the wizarding world has been spellbound by the Quidditch World Cup, which has been won by the USA.
The American side beat the Belgians in the final of the sport’s fourth global tournament 120-70 after the USA caught their opposition snitch (tied to the back of their seeker). On their way to the trophy, USA knocked out the United Kingdom at the semi-finals – however, the UK team managed to bag a bronze prize by beating Turkey in the third-place playoff.
The scoreline above might be a puzzle to some Harry Potter fans, as the snitch is worth 150 points in the book. However, in the real sport of quidditch the game-ending ball is only worth 30 points.
There are also a few other deviations from JK Rowling’s description of the sport. Although a quaffle and bludgers still exist (well, a semi-deflated volleyball and dodgeballs), a real-life quidditch team consists of 21 athletes with seven players per team on the field at any one time. They play in the same position as in the books (chasers, keepers, beaters and seekers), but no players use flying brooms due to, we presume, the Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.
It’s also quite an inclusive sport: the four-maximum rule of quidditch states that at most there can be four players of the same gender on pitch at one time, which ensures a mixed-gender match.