Like many Americans, Jodi Palmer attended the first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, with her son, Cody, and his best friend, Austin Shockley, back in December 2001. After the credits rolled, Palmer and her two movie companions couldn't stop talking about how much they'd love to play Quidditch, the main sport in J.K. Rowling's wildly popular books.
There was one problem though. In the film, the make-believe game is played 50 feet in the air by young wizards with flying brooms and magic balls. But that didn't deter Palmer, a grade-school gym teacher at Windermere Elementary School near Columbus, Ohio. She decided to bring the game down to earth and transform it into something that mere "muggles" (Potter-speak for nonwizards) could play.
Realizing she was on to something, Palmer posted her version on a national Web site for physical education teachers. Now gym teachers across the country are incorporating Quidditch into their curricula.
Want to bring Quidditch to the next park outing or suggest it to your kids' gym teacher? Here's what you'll need to get started -- Quidditch 101, if you will.
Continued on page 2: Prerequisites