15 September, 2017

#DIY30 #13

13. Three sports that wizards play. 

Quidditch... are you kidding me? Quidditch is like that bastardised cross between lacrosse and softball that gets played by three schools in the whole world. They call it a "world cup" when all three schools compete because there's no one else on the planet who plays it. 

But it all depends on your definition of "Wizard". In some circles, wizards are a very specific category of those who use magic, they derive their powers from theory and textbooks, sometimes finding magic in the words that they use to define reality. In other circles, the term wizard could be used as a catch-all term to describe any male capable of weaving magic in some way (as compared to its feminine counterpart, witch... but sometimes the terms wizard and witch are used even more loosely, avoiding gender binaries altogether). In some parts of the deep south of the USA, a wizard might be denoted by wearing white cloak and hood, concealing their identity while engaging in racially motivated hate crimes.

...let's ignore that last group, because things could get quite unsavoury if we include the pastimes they might consider "sport". 

The theoretically-inclined wizards tend to view sport as a physical exertion, and therefore beneath them. They may observe sports for a better understanding of biological matters for the purposes of their magic, but would rarely get themselves dirty in such a way. 

The wider context of wizards, as "men and women who are capable of wielding magic to manipulate reality" is probably the most useful definition here. In which case, any sport might be possible. An easy answer could be "cricket, badminton, and waterpolo". But regular readers of the blog haven't come to read the post for an easy answer, so perhaps we should clarify things by asking "Name three sports that wizards play, but that regular non-magical people don't (or can't)?"

Scorchball

Actually, I have played a version of this. A number of footballs/soccer-balls ⚽️ are soaked in methylated spirits. One ball at a time is lit on fire 🔥. Umpires and goalkeepers wear hard hats with lights on them...otherwise the game is played in pitch darkness. Generally the game is played as per a game of soccer ⚽️, once the ball extinguishes, it is returned to the tub for re-soaking, a new ball is lit and the game continues. 

Wizards have been known to play this, but using magic to keep the ball lit (thus avoiding the need to return the ball for soaking in methylated spirits when it burns itself out). Some of the more extreme wizards have even been known to use continuous fireball spells to engage the sport rather than using a physical ball at all. 

No Limits Tag

When playing a game like tag with people who are capable of shapeshifting, flying and stepping between realms of reality, things can get awfully complicated awfully quickly. When one wizard has mastered one set of abilities (eg. flying) and another has mastered a completely separate set of abilities (eg. dimension hopping), the game might seem impossible to play. To make things more sporting, there actually is a limit on "No limits" tag. Two warded circles contain point-scoring plinths, within the circle, tagging is possible but magic is prevented. Players gain a point if they touch a plinth after they have touched the alternate one. If a player is "it" they cannot score points, they must tag someone (who becomes "it") they may rejoin the game and earn new points once they touch a plinth. A game will typically have a set duration, typically an hour, or "midnight to dawn"; one notable game played between immortal wizards was said to have lasted a century.

Apprentice Showdown


A common sport among certain sects of wizards involves drawing on the local populace for a dozen or more potential apprentices. There are usually three to six wizards involved, although there may be other wizards who observe and place bets on the outcome. There are usually three or four times as many potential apprentices as there are wizards. The apprentices are set loose in a mock dungeon filled with deadly traps, and magical items that might help them survive. The sport continues until there are a number of apprentices equal to the wizards. Starting with the apprentice who eliminated the least opponents in the showdown, wizards offer their tutelage. 

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