by Alex Benepe | January 9th, 2012
Quodpot, described by J.K. Rowling as the American version of quidditch, has joined the club of real-life fictional sports.
Chris Kostick and several other players of the IQA thought it would be fun to try and adapt the sport to reality and submitted it for publication. It has been posted online here for the first time.
These rules are not officially endorsed by the IQA and we cannot guarantee their safety. if you play this game you might get hurt, die in a freak accident, explode etc. (don’t worry, the rules do not actually call for explosives) and we are not held accountable for any of your medical bills or financial remuneration etc. This falls into the category of “fan-generated content” and we thought it would be fun to share with the league and help Chris get feedback.
Also this is not officially endorsed by JK Rowling, Time Warner, Warner Bros, or David of “David After Dentist”.
Chris has suggested that teams try playing this at practices or between games at quidditch tournaments. If you wish to contact Chris with feedback or ideas for improvement, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also download the PDF here.
Read more about the literary history of quodpot here.
By: Chris Kostick
With the help of: Jason Hyde, Michele Clabassi, and Morgyn Benstead
1. The Game
The game of quodpot is played between two teams of eleven players each. The objective of the game is to get the quod (game ball) into the cauldron at the end of the pitch before it “explodes” and eliminates players. Each time a quod is brought into play a random timer between two and five minutes is set, and when the time expires any player that is holding the quod (or the last one to have touched it) is eliminated from play for the remainder of the match. The game is over when one of the teams runs out of players.
1.2 Starting the Game
Gameplay is started with a jump ball in the starting circle, on the opposite end of the pitch from the scoring circle, within which is the cauldron. One player from each team is allowed in the starting circle for a jump ball. If the referee feels that a jump ball was unfair or executed incorrectly, he or she may stop play with one short whistle blow and restart the jump ball, making any corrections.
Possession immediately after the jump ball may be difficult to determine. If the ball hits the ground off the jump ball, then it is the fault of whoever last touched it and possession is given to the other team in the same process as a dropped pass (see Advancing the quod below). Physical contact is not permitted during this time either, so players must be cautious when vying for possession of the quod.
1.3 Advancing the Quod
Players may not move when in possession of the quod – they must advance the quod by passing it to a teammate. If a player drops the quod, possession of the quod is given to the other team and play continues. When possession changes the team with new possession of the quod must return the quod past the midfield line before being eligible to score.
Only one player from each team is allowed in the scoring circle. Once inside the scoring circle, the player in possession of the quod is free to move with it in an effort to score. If a player scores, the quod timer resets and the other team is given the quod in the starting circle.
1.5 Quod Explosion
If a quod explodes, any player touching the ball, or the last player to have touched the ball, is eliminated from the match. This means that if two opposing players are vying for possession of the quod when the timer expires, both players are eliminated (simulating the “explosion”). When a player is eliminated, the quod is brought back to the starting circle for another jump ball. Any player who is eliminated by an exploding quod is eligible to substitute into the game once for the remainder of the game.
Substitutions may occur only during a stoppage in play occurring after a quod is scored or explodes, or a foul is called, stopping play. A player who has been eliminated must wait until the next score or explosion to re-enter play as a substitute. A player who has committed an elimination foul is not permitted to re-enter play as a substitute for the remainder of the game. Substitutions may only occur on the starting circle side of the midfield line. When a player wants to substitute in for a player on the field, he must stand directly by the sideline with his arm in the air so the referee can see that a substitution is to be made.
Once either team is down to 5 players, a 5 minute break is given to both teams. Each team also has one timeout that they may use at any time.
1.8 Last Stand
When all but one of a team’s players has been eliminated, the remaining player must advance the quod by tossing it into the air to him/herself in a sort of reverse dribble, but otherwise must still obey the player movement rules. The game is over when all of a team’s players have been eliminated. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Teams are allowed up to 15 players on their active rosters for a game.
2.2 Physical Contact (outside scoring circle)
Physical contact is not allowed in quodpot unless within the scoring circle. There may be one defender on the player in possession of the quod, and the defender must be at arms-length from the player in possession. The defender has the right to a ten-second stall count. If the player in possession fails to pass the quod within this stall count, the defender receives possession of the quod. The stall count must be loud and clear so the players and referee can hear it.
2.3 Physical Contact (inside the scoring circle)
Once inside the scoring circle, the one defender is allowed to use physical contact to prevent the player in possession of the quod from scoring. Legal types of physical contact are: Tackles, stiff arms, and stripping the ball. Inside the scoring circle is the only location where the ball may be played off the ground. A defender must attain possession of the quod and pass it out of the scoring circle to a teammate before the attacking player no longer has possession. If the defender does not successfully complete a pass to a teammate, the quod is given to the nearest player on the attacking team.
If a defender is to push the player in possession of the quod out of the circle, the attacker may use his/her momentum to slow his body, but then must obey player movement rules. If a defender is to tackle the player in possession from inside the scoring circle to outside the scoring circle, he/she has the right to finish the tackle, but not excessively. If the attacker maintains possession, he may continue to advance the quod. If the attacker drops the quod during a tackle to the outside of the scoring circle, possession is then given to the defender in the same process as with a dropped pass. If a defender strips the ball and it rolls out of the scoring circle, possession is given to the defender. The defender is NOT permitted to purposely move the ball to the outside of the scoring circle by kicking or any other method. This will be considered wrastling (see penalty shot penalties below).
2.4 Out of Bounds
A player must have at least one foot in bounds at all times. This also means that a player must only have one foot on the side of the midfield line necessary to enable scoring. If a player catches the quod out of bounds, possession is given to the nearest defender.
If a player catches a pass while running, he may stop using his momentum, but not excessively. Three steps is a general allowance for slowing. A player may NOT use this same rule when crossing the midfield line to enable scoring or when entering the scoring circle. If the player’s momentum carries her over the line, she must retreat to one step from the line and advance the quod to a player legally over the line or in the scoring circle.
There are three categories of penalties: Loss of possession, penalty shot, and elimination. The referee signal for each respective category is listed in parentheses.
3.1 Loss of possession (yellow flag):
- Travelling – moving both feet from position where in possession of quod.
- Pushing – pushing a defender away while attempting to catch a pass.
- Stacking – a second player on an attacking team enters the scoring circle.
- Diving – Feigning being fouled to unjustly retain possession.
- Shelving – Purposely delaying the game without a clear intent to advance the quod (at referee’s discretion).
- Swapping – Making an illegal substitution (while on offense).
In the event of a “loss of possession” penalty, the quod will be given to either the player on the defending team who was fouled or the closest player on the defending team. The team quod does not have to pass the midfield line before the team is eligible to score, as a result of the penalty.
3.2 Penalty shot (points at fouled player, then cauldron):
- Bashing – Mild physical contact outside of scoring zone.
- Tripping – Intentionally tripping a player who is moving to get open for a pass.
- Wrastling – Mild illegal physical contact within scoring zone.
- Dogging – More than one player is defending a player in possession of the quod.
- Swapping – Making an illegal substitution (while on defense).
In the event that a penalty shot is necessary, the fouling player will stand in the scoring zone, and the player in possession of the quod will have a free run at the cauldron starting at the midfield line. The player in possession may only take one shot at the cauldron during a penalty shot. If the shot is successful, the quod is given to the opposing team in the starting circle like after any score. If the shot is unsuccessful, a jump ball occurs at the starting circle as if a new quod was brought into play and the quod timer resets.
3.3 Elimination (black flag):
- Thrashing – Severe illegal physical contact within or outside the scoring circle.
- Trashing – Unsportsmanlike conduct such as spitting, foul language, etc.
In the event of an “elimination” penalty, the player who was fouled or the closest player on the fouled team will be given possession of the quod at the spot of the foul, and the fouling player is eliminated, counting against his/her team’s number of remaining players. A player who is eliminated by penalty is not eligible as a substitute.
4. The Pitch
The quodpot pitch is capsule shaped, consisting of a 36m x 15m rectangle with semicircles closing the ends. Quodpot can be played on any solid surface, but is preferably played on a grass, turf, or sand surface. Halfway between the ends is a midfield line extending the width of the pitch. At one end, 18m from the midfield line and halfway between the sidelines, is a 2m diameter circle that serves as the starting circle. At the opposite end, 18m from the midfield line and halfway between the sidelines, is the cauldron. Around the cauldron, and with the cauldron at the center, is an 8m diameter circle that serves as the scoring circle.
Quod – A fully inflated volleyball.
Cauldron – Any bucket or cauldron with an opening that is at least large enough to easily fit the quod into and is deep enough so that the quod will not easily bounce out. Circular laundry baskets, Kan Jam cans, trash cans, or 55 gallon barrels are recommended.
Cones – In the event that lines cannot be painted, eight (8) cones can easily be used to mark of the whole field, with the exception that there would be soft boundaries. This can be set up as shown below:
The referee is charged with watching the game actively and maintains the flow and fairness of gameplay. He/she should stay close to quod play, without interfering, and also be aware of what is going on elsewhere on the field of play. He/she should call the game accurately and fairly, and keep stoppages in play to a minimum. It is the responsibility of the referee to make sure eliminated players are removed from the field and the resulting number of players on each side is maintained. He/she is also responsible for resetting the quod as quickly as possible after a score or explosion, and also for making sure any substitutions are made quickly.
The scorekeeper’s responsibility is to maintain fair quod explosion timers throughout the game. He/she should have a whistle, airhorn, or other way of signaling when the timer expires. The timer can either be a kitchen timer or some sort of electronic timer. The scorekeeper is responsible for making sure the times set to the timer are relatively random, yet vary greatly.
- Goal scored – Long whistle blow, points at cauldron.
- Quod explosion – At the sound of the scorekeeper’s signal, one arm in the air and points at eliminated player.
- Penalty – Two short whistle blasts, throws appropriate flag (or points at fouled player and then cauldron in the case of a penalty shot). He will explain to the scorekeeper, spectators, and involved players the penalty.
- Out of bounds – One short whistle blast and points at sideline.
- Complete stall count – One short whistle blast and gives quod to defending player.