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If you have ever asked yourself why Muggles in the Americas are so fascinated with a game whose equipment looks like neither a “foot” nor a “ball,” then you are about to find yourself in the right place at the right time. This summer at Portus in Dallas, Texas, the North American Federation presents the 140th Merlin’s Cup Tournament. Thrill to the spectacle of the most magical game on land or sea! As a matter of fact, we will be playing the game both on the land and in the water for the enjoyment of all who participate and observe. Before we start, there are a few things you should know about how the game is played in the United States. The following information about the game and its rules and regulations should prove quite helpful to you and your teammates or fellow fans. Remember, all players must sign a liability waiver before they will be allowed on any pitch. For questions or additional information, please contact quidditch@portus2008.org.

North American Federation Rules

General Information

Every player must sign a Liability Waiver before taking the pitch. Players under 18 years of age at the time of the event must have a Quidditch Liability Waiver signed by a parent or guardian; chaperones may not sign the Liability Waiver. Liability waivers should be turned in to the registration desk at Portus.

Flagrantly violent play will result in expulsion from all match play and possible ejection from Portus. Players shall make every effort to avoid contact, including deliberately blocking an opposing player to disrupt their game play.

Captain selection will occur before the beginning of the Merlin’s Cup events.

The captain can bring rule interpretation concerns to the referee and then to the coordinator. All judgment decisions are final.

Tournament Information

Teams: Each team will be made up of three Chasers, two Beaters, one Keeper, and one Seeker. Merlin’s Cup Teams can have up to 3 reserve players.

There will be two different Quidditch events at Portus: Land Quidditch and Water Quidditch.

The NAFF’s Merlin’s Cup: Each event is limited to a maximum of 8 teams of 10 players each (80 total per event, 7 field players and 3 reserves per team). Substitutions can be made due to injury or at team captain's prerogative. Substitutions can only occur during game stoppage time. Players interested in the Merlin’s Cup should email quidditch@portus2008.org after January 1, 2008. Further information about the tournament will be posted on the Portus newsletter and players will be advised of tournament information in May 2008.

Teams have 2 1-minute timeouts during each match. Official and injury timeouts are not counted in this total.

Schedule

Player’s and Official’s Information Meeting: Friday, July 11, 2008, Grand Ballroom, 6pm
Land Quidditch: Friday, July 11, 2008, Grand Ballroom. 8-11 p.m.
Water Quidditch: Saturday, July 12, 2008, Pool. 5-8 p.m.

Player Descriptions

The Chasers

Games begin when the head referee tosses the Quaffle between two Chasers in the center of the pitch in a jump ball manner. Chasers then advance toward the opponent's hoops by passing the Quaffle between Chasers. Chasers must keep their one foot, their “plant foot,” stationary while holding the Quaffle but can take up to two steps while moving to pass the Quaffle.

The Quaffle will be a soft, plastic round ball that can be held in one hand.

Quaffles that leave the field shall be turned over by the last team to touch it, to an opposing player.

Chasers must stay a minimum of five feet from the other two Chasers on their team during game play. Quaffles can be passed between Chasers in any manner the player chooses. Chasers have ten seconds to release the Quaffle after receiving it from another player.

A Quaffle thrown more than twenty- five feet up field over the mid-field line must be caught on the fly. If dropped, the Quaffle is turned over to an opposing chaser.

Each time a Chaser throws the Quaffle through one of the opposing team's goals, their team receives 10 points.

*Water Quidditch: Chasers may not move while carrying the Quaffle.

The Keepers

The Keeper may only leave the Keeper's area to retrieve missed shots.

The Keeper is the only player allowed in the Keeper’s area.

After a shot, the Keeper shall restart game play by tossing the Quaffle to one of their Chasers. Throw-ins can not be past mid-field.

The Keeper will block shots by maintaining position in front of the three hoops that lie directly behind the Keeper's box in order to defend against opponent's Quaffle shots.

The Keeper is not required to pause in their play after a Bludger hit.

The Keeper may roam freely in the Keeper's box, even while carrying the Quaffle.

*Water Quidditch: Keeper must stay within five feet of the pool edge nearest their hoops.


The Beaters

The Beaters will roam the pitch carrying a Beater's stick to deflect Bludgers toward members of the opposing team.

Beaters may not strike a Bludger that has left the field of play. They shall return it, by hand, to the field and then resume game play.

A player (except the Keeper) who is hit by a Bludger must hold their position for 10 seconds. Chasers, who are hit, must also turn over the Quaffle to the nearest opposing Chaser. The spectators are encouraged to count off the 10 second penalty. Players who ignore Bludger hits will be penalized.

Swings are not to be higher than the Beater's waist, and all caution must be taken to avoid striking another player.

*Water Quidditch: Beaters will not raise beater’s bat above their shoulders.

The Seekers

The Snitch is moved onto the field by a Snitch Mover.

Seekers chase down the Snitch Mover and grab their belt loop.

If the Snitch caught is the 'Golden Snitch', the game concludes, and that Seeker’s team receives 50 points. If there is a tie, the team who catches the 'Golden Snitch' wins. Regular game play continues while the Snitch Mover is determining type of snitch caught.

The Seeker is still susceptible to Bludger hits, but will continue to chase the Snitch Mover irrespective of field play except during an official’s timeout.

*Water Quidditch: Seekers will swim after a snitch pulled by a Snitch Mover.

Liability Waivers

All Quidditch players (Merlin's Cup, House, and pickup) will be required to sign liability waivers before playing the game. Signing a liability waiver — or having your parent or guardian sign and notarize a liability waiver for you if you are younger than 18 — is a prerequisite for all Quidditch participation. Notary services are available through the hotel front desk. (Chaperones, other than parents or legal guardians, may not sign waivers for the attendees they accompany.) HP Education Fanon, Inc., and Portus accept no liability whatsoever for any health issues of or injuries to players sustained during the Quidditch matches.