The sport played by young witches and wizards in JK Rowling's Harry Potter novels has become a phenomenon in its own right
To some it may be an imagined sport, but for the players at the Quidditch World Cup in Frankfurt on Sunday (July 24), the competition was very real.
The sport played by young witches and wizards in Joanne Kathleen (JK) Rowling's Harry Potter novels has become a phenomenon in its own right, played by competitors with sticks between their legs representing broomsticks.
Teams from across the world were battling to become World Cup champions in the German city of Frankfurt, attempting to score points by throwing the ball through hoops whilst chasing the elusive 'snitch', embodied by a player with a tennis ball swinging from their trousers in a sock.
With such varied roles in the team, the sport offers something for everybody, says spokeswoman for the German national team Juliane Schillinger.
"Quidditch is a very multi-faceted game so it attracts a great range of athletes and also lots of people who aren't normally into sport but come along because of their fascination with Harry Potter and try something new," she said.
Fans and players alike seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere in sunny Frankfurt.
"The community's just amazing, you can see there's people from all different countries around the world and it's just.. you meet people, a lot of really really interesting and amazing people and I love it," United States player Celen Richard said.
"It's very different to what you see in other sports and it puts you in a good mood, it's something different," spectator Caroline Weber said.
Quidditch was adapted in 2005 by US students at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Since then, the sport has spread to dozens of countries and has some 700 teams, mainly based in the United States and largely at colleges and universities.