Before a captain or founder can start getting people together for a game, she needs to acquire the bare minimum pieces of equipment. Teams with more funding or support should skip ahead for more advanced equipment. But for the captains who must improvise at the beginning, the following items are recommended.
Simple goal hoops (6) – Duct-tape a hula hoop to the top of a large and readily available object (example: dorm or classroom chairs).
Volleyball (1) – Semi-deflated to the point that it can be easily gripped with one hand but still round enough to throw and pass with accuracy.
Dodgeballs (3) – Same condition as volleyball. 8.5 inch diameter is recommended.
Snitch sock and shorts (1) – A long sock with a tennis ball in the bottom, tucked into shorts that can be drawn up tightly with a string. Yellow clothing is recommended.
Brooms (14) – These are the hardest things to acquire at first for little to no cost. Here are some options:
Broomball – Many schools and communities play broomball, a sport that is like hockey but played without skates and uses brooms and balls instead of sticks and pucks (in other words, it makes far less sense than quidditch). These may be borrowed from the team or the athletic department head, who will try not to chuckle when he is transferring temporary ownership of brooms from the broomball team to the quidditch team.
Buying brooms – You can purchase brooms from most hardware or household stores. Most stores sell short brooms about half the height of the average kitchen brooms. These are a good choice for quidditch because they are safer and lighter than longer brooms, and they usually cost between $5 and $7 each. Additionally, some Halloween costume stores carry bamboo brooms for even less in their store or online.
B.Y.O.B. – If all else fails, in the interest of getting a game going, tell players to bring their own brooms. This approach can limit your turnout, but has the benefit of widening the range of what is acceptable as a “broom-like implement.” Players have turned up with old-fashioned mops, new-fashioned Swiffers, lengths of PVC pipe of the correct length, long sticks, and even lamps. With a little creativity, anything can become a “broom,” no money required… but remember safety first!
Look Ma, no hands – Some teams that can’t find brooms in time for their first game will simply play with one arm behind their back. This is not recommended.
Once any team has a few games or even a season of play under their belt and some funding acquired, it should think about upgrading and acquiring new equipment. Recommended (in order of importance):
Headbands – Enough for two teams: yellow (2), white (6), black (4), green (2). These serve to distinguish one player from the other and make life easier for teammates and referees. See the rulebook for details.
Referee jerseys (3) and whistles – Self-explanatory. IQA referees prefer Fox 40 whistles, which are hard to miss when you hear them.
New goal hoops (6) – IQA players and teams have built a wide array of designs. These designs are relatively inexpensive ($100 - $200 for a full set) and are durable, relatively portable, and good-looking to boot. These will increase the legitimacy of the game in any community and increase the playing abilities and enjoyment of all players.
Handcrafted brooms (14) – Household brooms or cheaper brooms at hardware stores tend to be heavier, more awkward to handle, and less durable. Teams are encouraged to find, test, and acquire handmade or sturdier playing brooms that are lighter and shorter. There are various companies that can be found online that produce and manufacture handcrafted brooms that work better for the game of quidditch and, just as with the hoops, increase the game’s visual presence.
Lacrosse goggles and mouthguards – Self-explanatory. Mouthguards should be provided on an individual basis by players.
Three-digit scoreboard (1) – These are simple, hand-operated scoreboards with flip cards that are flipped over a wooden, plastic, or metal board to change numbers. They should have six digits side-by-side, with three in one color, and three in another, large enough to see from all sides of a pitch (roughly two-three feet in width and up to one foot in height).
Megaphone – 500 yard megaphones are recommended. They generally require a large supply of batteries.