The Beater's Bible
(by Brutus Scrimgeour)
Chapter 1 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Jenna Hathaway)
If you are reading this book, you are most likely a Beater in a Quidditch team, or you're just curious about those who hold the position. Well, look no further. This book has everything you need to know about Beaters and/or being a good Beater. In a Quidditch team, every single position is important - don't let that Seeker make you think otherwise! It is one common misconception that being the one who just flies around beating Bludgers towards the opposing team is the least important job and the position that needs the least skills. People actually think that anyone can be a Beater? Well, they can't be more wrong.
Being a Beater, as with being a Keeper, Chaser, and Seeker, is an art. There are strategies and calculations, which if done with perfect precision can guarantee the most outstanding results (such as the other team being unable to score at all, NOT the other team having broken bones everywhere, although well, that sometimes cannot be helped). Hitting that Bludger exactly at the right time and with extreme precision towards the Chaser who is intent on scoring could if done correctly, not only knock the Quaffle right out of their hands but also land the ball into the hands of your grateful teammate.
When the other team's Seeker has spotted the Snitch, and you feel that dread knowing that a) this fun match is going to end in a few seconds and b) your team is not going to be the one to win it, what is a Beater to do? If you know your beating techniques, you could totally distract said Seeker until the elusive Snitch disappears from their view again (which is the most annoying thing for a Seeker, but hey, a nice bonus for us right?).
Another common misconception is that if you're a Beater, it means that you're a violent person. Not necessarily. Even if your job IS to beat an enchanted rock around so it can hit people, that doesn't make you a big mean heartless bully. Not unless you let yourself become one! Show how wrong those people are; you can be a classy Beater that has swift movements and accurate swings and still could not hurt a fly! (Well... maybe).
I've seen women playing as Beaters too, even though they're a bit rare, so it's definitely a stereotype that you should prove incorrect. Maybe you feel like you have a Beater calling, but you're going to be the first female Beater in your school history. Well, and why not? Look at the bright side; you get to make history! Be proud and do the previously unthinkable. Prove how capable you are for the job, and maybe more women would feel inspired and follow your footsteps.
Now that I've returned your confidence in your most important position in the wonderful game of Quidditch, read on, and I will share to you all the techniques I know about becoming the best Beater for your team. Your skills are very much needed by your teammates, and you will only show them how dedicated you are by devoting your time to be the greatest player in Beating history. The following chapters await you!
Chapter 2 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Tarma Black)
Rule One: Take Out the Seeker
Now that the censors have read the Preface and have made sure that this is an appropriate book for school-aged children -- and since they probably stopped reading in the Preface -- we can get down to brass tacks.
Rule One is this: take out the Seeker
The Seeker of the opposing team is the one person that you need to remove from the playing field. Use any method that you can get away with in order to remove that potential earner of 150 points.
Always be aware of the location of the Referee. The Referee can throw you out of the game, mandate a penalty shot for the opposing team, call a time out, or all of the above. So whatever you do, make sure the Referee doesn't see what you are doing if at all possible.
There are several possible techniques that one can use to eliminate the Seeker. Some of these methods are listed as illegal so it is best if both Beaters work in concert in this endeavour. One of the Beaters gains the attention of the Referee in some innocuous manner while the other does his or her best to get rid of that opposing Seeker.
One of the best ways to take out the Seeker is to simply hit a bludger towards them and hope that it hits a vital spot. A broken nose can greatly impair visibility. A concussion makes it hard to focus one's eyes to see the Snitch. Even smashing the broom tail can cause the broomstick flight to be unreliable.
Another method of taking out the Seeker is to simply run into them with your own broomstick. You need to be careful with this technique as it's best that you remain in the game even if the Seeker has to retire because of injuries. Do not damage your own broomstick (or your own body for that matter) unless it is absolutely vital.
An exquisite method of taking out the Seeker is the infamous Portescue's Ploy. It's difficult to manage and takes an incredible amount of timing, but if you can manage it, it's foolproof. Named after Ivanova Portescue, it is simply managing to get an opposing Chaser to run into their own Seeker. Ms. Portescue managed this by waiting for the Seeker to come into her territory, then she sent a bludger after the Chaser, angled such that the Chaser darted away from the speeding bludger and into their own Seeker.
If the Referee is at the opposite end of the playing field, two Beaters are able to do many things that might take out the Seeker. Often it is sufficient to trap them in a squeeze; one Beater flies alongside the Seeker and the other then flies directly on the other side and the two Beaters then squeeze the Seeker. If the Seeker panics, they can lose control of their broomstick. Losing control of a broomstick going 120 miles an hour can have interesting consequences. Be sure to stay out of the way of the consequences. Again, your own team needs to have both Beaters functioning!
Something else that two Beaters, working in concert, can do is use a summoning charm on the iron bludger. This is illegal (Quidditch foul number 437) so don't get caught. One Beater hits the bludger close to the Seeker. The other Beater has positioned himself or herself on the opposite side of the Seeker and when the Seeker is between the bludger and the other Beater, that Beater summons the bludger to him- or herself. With correct timing, that bludger will smash into the Seeker and no one will know the difference as long as no one was watching.
No matter how it is done, remember that the first rule is always:
Take out the Seeker.
If a censor has read this chapter, please be aware that everything in it is just kidding. I am not advocating such violent behaviors and heartily recommend that anyone who would act in such ways go to St. Mungo's for a checkup.
Chapter 3 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Katie Gryffin)
Rule Two: Protect Your Team
Being a Beater isn’t all about injuring the other team; it is also protecting your team from the opposing Beaters. Although Rule One is to take out the Seeker, do you want your Seeker to be taken out? I thought not.
Always keep a close watch on the Bludgers and the opposing Beaters, especially when one of your team members is about to make a vital move, such as attempting to score a goal or catch the snitch. Make sure that they are not in any danger from Bludgers.
Although Seekers often boast of having the sharpest eyes, it is not always so. You should have equally sharp eyes, and it is not only the various enchanted balls that you have to watch. You should also pay attention to opposing Beater’s body language and facial expressions, as these can often give away the actions they are about to take against your team. The more you play Quidditch, the more of these signs you will pick up, but here are some of the most common ones:
*Concentrating gaze on a particular player - They are probably going to send the Bludger shooting towards them.
*Broomstick is facing one payer - Same as above
*Looking very angry if a goal has been scored or the snitch caught - Rush to protect the Chaser or Seeker, even if the game has finished; the Beaters may take violent actions.
There are many more signs, but they do not apply to all players. Particular players may have their own signals, such as clutching their pat harder, or snarling.
In the event that a Bludger comes dangerously close to a teammate, you know what to do. Smash your club into it as hard as you can in the direction of the opposite team. However, make sure that you focus on accuracy as well as power; you do NOT want to injure one of your own team. (Not only will this decrease your chances of a win, but you will be the victim of much teasing and insulting after the match has ended.)
As a Beater, you don’t only need to protect your team from Bludgers, but other dangers as well. If one of your players is having trouble controlling their broomstick, it is your job to be circling underneath them, ready to catch them if they fall. Meanwhile, The other beater can take charge over the Bludgers.
Chapter 4 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Alexander Backwood)
Rule Three: Work as a team
You may think: oh dear, that’s a lot of tasks for one man. Take out the seeker, protect your own, catch falling members. Remember though that there are two beaters in a team. You don’t have to do it all by yourself.
BUT, this only works to your advantage if you work together. As much as you have to keep an eye on opposing beaters, you should keep contact with your brother in arms. There are some pretty neat manoeuvres that you can do together.
For example, even the best Beaters have a problem with accuracy when it comes to hitting over long distances. The chance of the Bludger going after another player, possibly even your own teammate, increases as the distance becomes greater. Not only that, but just hitting the ball in the right direction becomes an art in itself. You can make it easier on yourself. While the other Beater stays close to potential targets, you go after the Bludger, and then you hit it in the general direction of your co-Beater. He or she is then able to steer it far more accurately than you could ever have done. The target won’t stand a chance. Practice this.
Enough beaters have broken their noses by failing to see a Bludger coming towards them. Keep in touch with each other. Develop an instinct for each others intents and plans. There is a reason why some of the best Beater-teams are brothers and sisters. They have been developing that synergy since their childhood.
Cooperating with your chasers is another beneficial tactic. Fly in a fixed formation with the Chaser that has the Quaffle (preferably one beater on each side). In the best case, you won’t bother him or her while giving them optimal protection at the same time. This requires a lot of training though. There are a lot of cases where beaters have impaired their own team from scoring. We don’t want that, now do we?
So, always keep this in mind. Teamwork is cool, and can give you a big advantage. Besides, the fans love it! Just make sure you are well trained for it. Your team won’t be happy if you break your co-Beater’s nose with a well-meant but badly enacted Bludger-pass.
Chapter 5 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Aaron Kingsley)
Rule Four: Protect the Goal
If the defense could use a little help, a beater or two can make a big difference on defense. There are several ways that you can set your beaters up on defense:
One back one forward: Position one beater to protect a zone around midfield, and the other towards the goal. If your Quidditch team has the Quaffle, you will not need to play this zone, but be aware of the ball’s possession. As your team flies to the goal, cover the chasers’ flanks as the advance towards the goal posts.
One left one right: Set one beater on the right hand side of the Quidditch field close to the goals and the other on the left. This formation is strongest when the offense tries to go down the middle. It’s also quite effective on the sides. If the keeper can’t get to the goal in time, the beaters can hit Bludgers at the incoming chasers in order to give the keeper some time. Once your team has the Quaffle, you can move the beaters up to midfield and play the zone there.
One up one down: Place on beater at a higher altitude than the other. That way if someone tries to attack from above, a beater is right there waiting for them. The one lower will be responsible for all the players at low altitudes. These players are often overlooked because when people play Quidditch, they usually pay attention to what’s in front of them. A good Quidditch player does not only pay attention to what’s in front of them, but also what’s AROUND them.
Goal Zone: Using any of the stated zones above, set the beaters close to the goal. This way the beaters actually become two keepers, but are able to hit Bludgers! This is not against the Quidditch rules AS LONG AS the beaters don’t touch the Quaffle.
Chapter 6 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Madeline Bronte)
Rule Five: Never Hit the Referee (Directly)
Whenever people think of Beaters they also think of 2 other things; a referee and said referee’s face being hit by the Bludger. Ah yes, this feud between the Beater and the Referee that has been going on for centuries and is nearly as exciting as Quidditch itself. In actual fact, unless the Referee is being deliberately annoying, we Beaters don’t usually get too wound up. The only problem is they are ALWAYS deliberately annoying. A famous ‘referee/beater’ fight is that of the Puddlemere United Beater, Maxwell Montmerry and referee Casper Drake in 1815. Puddlemere were playing the Appleby Arrows and Drake kept awarding the Arrows free shots until Montmerry snapped, hit the Bludger at Drake, breaking his nose and giving him concussion. Drake retired from refereeing soon after and Montmerry was banned from the rest of the season.
Basically, hitting the referee will ALWAYS get you suspended, so the best advice to give is, don’t do it. Even if the referee has decided to not count any points your team has scored and has given the opposite team 1000 points instead (believe me it’s happened). If you so much as tap the referee you will be suspended and everybody will hate you so it’s best not to do it. The rules clearly state ‘No physical contact to be made’. What they do not say is ‘Do not aim the ball at the referee, so as to scare him but not hurt him.’ Here are the top three on how to do just that.
1) Hit The Ball On An Angle
This is probably the easiest move to do. Fly to one side of the referee and simply throw the ball up and hit it using a circular motion with your arm. The ball should follow that motion, going in a semi circle. If you have done this correctly and are not directly in front of the referee (that is a very important point to stress) the ball should soar straight in front of the referee, startling him.
2) Play Catch With Yourself
For this move to work you need to be extremely fast. Go directly in front of the referee and hit the ball so it goes hurtling towards him. Then, fly towards him very quickly, stop straight in front of him and hit the ball in the opposite direction. If he asks what you were doing simply tell him ‘I was playing catch seeing as how there’s nothing to do and you got in my way.’
3) Whoops, Didn’t See You There
This move requires excellent teamwork. One Beater hits the ball as hard and as fast as he can. The other waits behind the referee. As soon as the first Beater has hit the ball, the second knocks the referee’s broomstick, spinning him around. Stop him right before the Bludger reaches him and hit it back to the first beater, casually saying ‘Whoops didn’t see you there!’
These moves should ensure the referee never favours the other team again.
Chapter 7 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Ariel Short)
Rule Six: Secure a Good Hit
Knowing the rules of the game is only the beginning of this fabulous sport. Rules are easy to understand, and it’s a fair assumption that most of the wizarding world (and thus you) already knows basics of Quidditch.
But let’s face it; famous Beaters did not achieve their fame because they passed a rule test. It was because their strategies and techniques helped them lead their teams to success. And don’t forget power! Who doesn’t know of Jamison Manovich’s spectacular hit in 1974, forcing the bludger out of the Quidditch pit so far that it didn’t return for a good full five minutes?
This, my super beater wannabes, is what will make your name one everyone will remember.
So how can you manage to perform so wonderfully in a game? There are four simple things to be aware of:
4) Arm Strength
Timing - Make sure that you swing at the right time. If you swing your bat too early or too late not only will you miss your chance at aiming a bludger at an opposing Chaser to prevent him from scoring. There’s also the chance that the ball will hit you. It’s not a pleasant feeling, as bludgers seem to have a personal vendetta against Beaters and like to physically act on it when able.
Position – Where on the bat you hit the bludger makes a big difference as well. Close to the handle and close to the tip, and the angle the bludger takes off at is hard to control. Also, the closer you are to the handle, the weaker the power. The best spot to hit the bludger with is a hand width from the tip. It’s also best to hit the bludger with the bat to your side, not in front of you to allow full use of your arms and shoulders.
Grip – A poor grip equals poor power, and a super weak grip could result in you dropping your bat when it hits a bludger. All not good things. Most beaters use a one handed grip in their dominant hand. A two handed grip does result in a more powerful hit, but its maneuverability and aiming decrease. Bludgers don’t always move in a straight path, and a one-hand grip makes it more likely to hit the ball as it allows you to stretch out if you need to and use your other hand for balance. A tighter grip also improves aim, and don’t forget to follow through! Keep in mind that different people prefer different grips. Frogins Fald was known for hitting bludgers with a three-fingered grip, though most beaters use their whole hand.
Arm Strength – If you have a strong arm, you’ll be able to make fabulous, goal saving hits with a one handed grip. The first priority is to hit the bludger (especially when protecting a teammate) but the second is to make sure it reaches your target (say, you’re opponent’s seeker). Good beaters make sure both arms have a similar strength, in case a bludger approaches them on their weak side. Also keep in mind that the larger your swing, the more power there will be behind it.
Chapter 8 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Malik Carter)
Rule Seven: Initiate the Offense
Beaters are not only defensive players, but can play offensively as well. To be the most affective, beaters must first make sure their chasers have the possession of the quaffle. It does the team no good if the beaters are harassing the keeper if the rest of opposing team is down field attempting to score.
Once the quaffle is secured, protect the chasers from incoming bludgers; make powerful counters and take time to set up the shot. On offense, it’s very important that your bludgers find their marks. It will make both your job and the chasers’ job easier. Begin taking out the opposing beaters. This will be difficult since they have the ability to counter your bludgers, so be careful with how much time is spent trying to get rid of them. From the beaters, it is recommended to take out the most dangerous chaser. The most dangerous chaser is characterized as the chaser who is in position to steal the quaffle. Since their attention is focused on your chaser, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get rid of them. Continue to take out the chasers and counter any incoming bludgers as you approach the keeper. Once you reach the three goals, this is where it starts to get tricky.
The best situation when you approach the goals is to have all your beaters and chasers there, but this rarely happens. But when it does, you have to be able to seize the opportunity and score. Set one beater head on with the keeper and assign chasers to each hoop. The other beater should guard the rear and counter any bludgers coming from behind the formation. The combination of the beater and three chasers will be too overwhelming for the keeper, and the quaffle will soon be seen passing through one of the three hoops.
But as it was stated before, that is considered the best case scenario. In most cases you will probably have one or two chasers and a beater down field, if you’re lucky.
With one chaser, the chance of scoring is greatly decreased. However, if a beater is able to send a bludger down field, it should allow enough time for the chaser to score.
With two chasers, the chance is considerably greater, especially if a beater accompanies them. The chasers can juggle the quaffle between the two of them while the beater distracts the keeper.
There are many more complex offensive strategies for a quidditch team that are beater-orientated, but for a beginning or experienced beater, these plans will get you more goals for your team than what you would think.
Chapter 9 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Lynete Vanderbuilt)
Rule Eight: Utilize Moves and Fouls...
...Just do not let the referee catch you! The beater is a crucial team member in Quidditch. Not only do you protect your team, but you also try to prevent your opponents from winning the match. Sometimes, hitting a bludger against the opposing team player is not enough, even if you take them out. Perhaps the others are too strong or the hitting ball does not have the desired effect. At that time, a beater must forget the ordinary 'hit it with the bat' technique, but has to resort to tricky moves and fouls to stop the opposing team. This chapter lists some of those, but as a player, you have to be careful not to get caught! You cannot afford to get a temporary or permanent ban from the sport, because your team will be lost.
There are two moves that beaters can use to effectively put a player out of the game or surprise them into dropping the quaffle. The Dobblebeater Defence is a move, where both beaters strike a bludger at the same moment. That way, the force of the flying ball is higher and causes a lot more damage than it would normally do. If this bludger hits, it is guaranteed that the opposing player will be knocked out of the game for good.
The next move, if executed perfectly, will certainly manage to confuse other players. Bludger Backbeat is a move, where the beater hits the bludger with the bat, but rather than sending it forwards, it will go behind him or her. This is one of the hardest moves to do, and is mostly used for keeping the bludgers away from your team, rather than hitting others.
Cannot hit that speeding ball? One of the opposing beaters is aiming for your seeker? Do not know where your partner is or what are they doing? Those are the circumstances that call for the use of fouls. When deliberately stopping your opponents with one of the seven hundred forbidden ways, you have to remember three simple rules.
Rule 1: Don't get caught!
It is imperative that you do not get caught! Not only are you in danger of being disqualified, but the opposing chasers can get a free shot at your goal posts, with a high possibility of increasing their chances of victory. So, when using fouls, never forget looking at a referee to see if they are paying attention. If not, go for it and protect your teammates.
Rule 2: Don't use your wand!
Although most of the Quidditch fouls deal with certain uses of spells, do NOT use your wand. It is the easiest way to get caught, because of a simple Priori Incantatem spell will reveal any spell that came out of your wand. Use your body and broom when resorting to fouls!
Rule 3: Have a good aim!
Last but certainly not least, have a good aim. When cobbing, bumphing, blatching and blagging, it is very important to hit right on the spot. That way you can be certain of the stop in the game or taking out the opponent.
Chapter 10 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Katie Sanders)
Rule Nine: Have Fun and Look Good
Now that we have covered all of the basics concerning the optimal play strategy and how to perfect your gameplay, it’s time to focus on your play style. Let’s face it, everyone talks about seekers, but we all know that beaters are the most athletic, talented, and more often than not attractive members of any Quidditch time, so why not show it? Having some style in your play will separate you from the rest, help you build your fan base, and even improve your skills as a player, if done right.
The most important thing to remember about style is that every player has a unique one. Some are aggressive, some are light and fluffy, there have even been a few beaters throughout history who have been described as “flirty” players, it all depends on your goals and skills. Listed below are a few popular tricks, but feel free to explore, adapt, and find what works best for you. Just remember, don’t do something simply because it looks cool. Make sure that not only is it not hindering your gameplay, but that you are sure you can execute these tricks in a way that is safe…or at the very least, won’t get you killed.
This move seems simple, but is quite hard to master. The basic mechanics involve being able to shift your weight to one side of your broom to the point where you start to slide down, and then quickly be able to maneuver yourself and your weight all to the other side so as to pull yourself up. Anyone who has had to practice dodging techniques, such as a beater, should pick this up quickly.
The reason this one is so difficult comes into when you actually hit the bludger. If the move is executed correctly, the ball will spin as well. If the move is done well, this can work to your advantage by creating a nice spin, thus a harder hit, plus more difficult to dodge. However, if you’re not careful, you will simply cause the ball to spin out of control. Do not attempt this on the field until you are sure you have mastered ball control, otherwise you will let your team down and disappoint your fans.
Standing on Your Broom
This will not be easy, and a lot of practice will be required, but there is also a lot of reward with it.
Not many people can stand on their broom when flying. However, if you can pull it off, and manage to execute some good hits, you’re golden. The key to this is balance balance balance. You have to start small, muggle gyms often have contraptions called balance beams which they use for their sports. Try and locate that and practice on that. If you have the muggle money, they even often have teachers for this. If you don’t want to work with muggles, that’s fine. Any narrow raised platform will work. Start low to the ground for safety purposes, then work your way up.
The key’s to standing on a broom are:
Always have two feet on your broom unless you are attempting a flip (and that comes long after you’ve mastered standing, keep both feet on your broom. No fancy one-footedness here. Any professional Quidditch player or trick rider will tell you that just shifts your weight too dangerously to one side. Don’t get cocky.
Prepare for recoil I’m sure each and every one of you has felt a little bit of pushback when hitting a bludger with a lot of force, now imagine that standing! You have much less grip on your broom, and thus less balance after you hit. You can learn how to compensate for this, but it’s hard. One suggestion is buying Quidditch shoes with a higher than average grip, sold at specialty stores.
Know your limits I cannot stress this one enough. Each beater is different and thus has a different play style and range of abilities. Don’t just try something because an idol does it, know where you stand. You’ll get everything in time, do not rush it.
Being a beater is all about having fun. Adding a little style to your game will only help that. Try and discover your unique play style, don’t just copy your mate’s. In time, you’ll find it, and you’ll be better liked by both fans and players for it.
Chapter 11 for "The Beater's Bible"
(by Ian Carson)
Dealing With Loss
Whether you're the star beater on your Quidditch team or not, you're probably going to lose once in a while. Losing is something you should learn to accept in the game of Quidditch. Following are some steps to help your cope for loss.
1. Hope for the Best; Prepare for the Worst
You should always go into a game determined to win, but not so determined that a loss will emotionally damage you. Keep your head held high, but not high enough that you get your head stuck in the clouds. Being arrogant can blind you. You'll underestimate the opponents and get caught off guard.
2. Accept It
Accepting your loss is the first step to take in going back to normal. You need to come to terms with how and why you lost. Maybe think about things you could have done better and make a list so you can improve in the specific areas.
3. Try to Correct It
As I stated before, going over why you lost is crucial. You don't want to lose the same way twice, right? If you focus on why you lost, it will also help you to come with terms with accepting your loss. You can improve personal, and team performance as a whole by doing this step.
4. Move On
The forth and final step is to move on. You lost, right? Ok.... Now what? The answer is. Move on! Forget about it. You've practiced, right? It shouldn't happen again. You can't go back in time to change what happened. What has been done has been done. Your team as a whole needs to move on as well. One bad apple spoils the bunch.
In conclusion of this chapter, you should remember that you probably won't win at everything. Accept that you lost. Correct it. Then move on. I hope this chapter has helped you, or will help you deal with loss. Good luck!