Traditional – but not quite mainstream – sports of petanque, Gaelic football, archery and campdrafting find a place alongside floorball and dragon boating in the search for grassroots heroes.

And it turns out the magical game of quidditch, created by J. K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series, has a real world equivalent – minus the wizards, witches and flying broomsticks of course.

Described as a frenetic fusion of “rugby, dodgeball and tag,” it features two teams mounted on earthbound brooms contesting inside a hockey rink-sized pitch.

Photo by Courtney Buckley Quidditch Photography

Ana Baricela of the Marauders – the Macquarie University Quidditch Club launched in 2012 - says the “team is positively thrilled” to be named a finalist in the Best Club category.

Baricela, herself a player, says:  “The team trains three times a week, and players are always trying their hardest to be the best they can possibly be.

“The gameplay department works relentlessly to come up with new innovative strategies, as the sport is still fresh.”

And if flying discs also sounds a little out of this world think frisbees rather than UFOs.

The Australian Flying Disc Association describes the sport of Ultimate as a fast-paced mix of “netball, touch football and grid-iron”.

If that’s hard to wrap your head around it certainly hasn’t hindered the sport’s growth. In 2015 Ultimate received full recognition by the International Olympic Committee.


Corey Wakefield, president of Brisbane-based Best Club finalist, Extinction Ultimate Club, says it’s one of the fastest growing team sports in the world.

Wakefield adds: “Although success is measured through win-loss ratios in many sports, Ultimate Disc also recognises Spirit of the Game as a highly coveted award.

“That is voted on after every game by opposition teams in five categories- rules knowledge and use, fouls and body contact, fair mindedness, positive attitude and self-control and communication.”

The Flying Foxes - the Australian Women's Masters Ultimate Frisbee team - is also in the race for a gong after making the shortlist for Best Masters Performance.

Player Michelle Phillips said the team recently competed in the World Championships in London and brought home the bronze medal in a thrilling nail-biter of a play-off against Team Japan.

"This is Australia's first medal in the division, and contributed to Australia's overall 2nd place as a countr," Phillips said.

"Not only were the team high achievers, they are also all wonderful strong women who have contributed so much to our community. Captained by Joy Lee, this bunch of women is looked up to by everyone who knows them." 

Quidditch and Ultimate are among a number of sports testing the potential of mixed gender teams.

Voting in the 2018 Sportscover Clubbies Awards closes on April 15. Winners will be announced on May 3.