Podracing vs Quidditch: Which is the Better Fictional Sport?

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Sports can be crazy, but no sports in the real world are as crazy as these two fictional sports, podracing from Star Wars, and quidditch from Harry Potter. The real question is which one is the better sport judging off two different points, the rules/gameplay and the safety for both sports.

Part 1: the rules and gameplay

Podracing rules are quite simple. the only official rules are that you have to build a racer and make it fast. In races there is always the rule that you start when they give the signal or command to go, and this applies to podracing as well. In Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the Boonta Eve podrace began when Jabba the Hutt hit the gong.

Racers race in podracers, which are small hovering pods with large turbine engines. The engines were not physically attached, but the were attached by power couplings that released a plasma discharges. A podracer's top speed is 900 km/h. There are three laps to the race and racers can try to kill or sabotage other racers during the race. You are also allowed to fix your racer during the race either by pit crew, or if you are Anakin Skywalker, by yourself mid race. The race is done on a track or on a natural formed course. To win the race you have to either be the first racer the cross the finish line after three laps or be the last surviving racer. Podracing was illegal in the galaxy, but since it was controlled by the Hutts and not the Galactic Republic, it was allowed to be done on planets that the Hutts controlled. When the Galactic Empire came around, Podracing was official outlawed and many racers were arrested by the ISB (imperial security bureau) for podracing , and only some rouge planets still played the sport.

When it comes to quidditch, it has a lot more rules and the game is more complex. The game must be played on a quidditch pitch, which is a 500 ft long field (feet, not yards like typical sports) with three hooped goal posts, all different heights at the end of both sides of the field.

All players must be on their brooms. There are four roles that each quidditch team has, Chasers, Keepers, Beaters, and Seekers. Each team is made of seven people, 3 Chasers, 1 Keeper, 2 Beaters, and 1 Seeker. The job of the Chaser is to score the quaffle, which is a small red leather ball, into the hoops. If they succeed, they will get ten points for their team. The Keeper guards the three hoops from the opposing team, so basically a goalie or goal keeper. The Beaters are the ones who protect their teammates from the two Bludgers, which are magical iron balls that try to knock players off their brooms. The Beaters use a bat to knock away the Bludgers from their teammates. The Seekers try to catch the Golden Snitch, which is a small magical golden ball that flies around the field. If a seeker catches the golden snitch, it will end the game and the team who got the snitch will get 150 points for their team. These are the pictures of the game equipment starting with the quaffle.


Golden snitch

Beater's bat


Now like all sports, quidditch has rules. The rules are as followed:

1. Players must not stray over the boundary lines of the pitch, although they may fly as high as desired. The Quaffle must be surrendered to the opposition if any player leaves the boundary

2. "Time out" may be called at any time by the Captain of a team. Time out may be extended to two hours if a game has already lasted for more than twelve hours. Failure to return to the pitch after this time will lead to the team being disqualified.

3. Penalties can be awarded to teams by the referee. A single Chaser may take the penalty by flying from the central circle towards the scoring area. The opposing team's Keeper may attempt to stop the shot being scored, but all other players must not interfere

4. Contact is allowed, but a player may not seize hold of another player's broomstick or any part of their anatomy.

5. No substitution of players is allowed throughout the game, even if a player is too injured or tired to continue to play.

6. Players may take their wands onto the pitch, but they must not be used on or against any players, any players' broomsticks, the referee, any of the four balls, or the spectators.

7. A game of Quidditch will only end once the Golden Snitch has been caught, or at the mutual consent of both team Captains.

8. Only the Keeper can block quaffle shots thrown by the opposing team.

Like Podracing, quidditch is outlawed, but unlike podracing, it is not outlawed to everyone. Quidditch is only outlawed to muggles (normal people). Quidditch is not allowed to be played or seen by a muggle. It is a rule that you can't play quidditch 100 miles within a muggle town or else you will be chained to a dungeon wall.

part 2: safety

Podracing is not at all a safe sport. It is known to be one of the most dangerous sports in the Star Wars galaxy. Here are some reasons why: The tracks were narrow, there was no safety equipment besides goggles and a helmet, you could be killed in a crash, you can be shot by Tusken Raiders, etc. Most podraces end up with most of the racers being killed or seriously injured. Mostly non-humans race in podraces because it is way too dangerous for the human body. Anakin Skywalker was the first human to ever win a professional podrace, and he was force sensitive (which means that he could use the force), so just imagine what it would be like for a normal human to podrace.

Quidditch has safety equipment for their players such as Helmets, goggles, arm guards, shin guards, knee guards, and gloves. Keepers also wore more protective head and chest gear. Those are good for scrapes and bruises, but where the danger really comes in if you fall off the broom. The Broomsticks can fly pretty high, and if you fall off, it could lead to serious injury or death. Now that is bad enough, but remember rule number 5, "No substitution of players is allowed throughout the game, even if a player is too injured or tired to continue to play." Now that is pretty bad.

I've given you the information, now you get to decide. Which sport is better? Let me know in the comments.

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