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Creaothceann originated in Scotland, and was regarded as the most dangerous of all broom games. Creaothceann players were equipped with a broomstick and wore a cauldron strapped to their head. At the start of the game - signified by the sounding of a horn or drum - a hundred rocks and boulders that had been charmed to float a hundred feet above the ground began falling to the ground. The players then zoomed around the field, trying to catch as many rocks in their cauldrons as possible.

The name derived from the Scottish Gaelic words creoth ceann, which translated to Wounded Head.

The game was considered to be a test of manliness and courage for Scottish wizards and witches, and enjoyed popularity in the Middle Ages, despite the many fatalities that resulted from playing it - according to a twelfth-century ballad, it was considered standard for only two out of the twelve players to survive a game:

"The players assemble, twelve fine, hearty men,

They strapped on their cauldrons, stood poised to fly,

At the sound of the horn they were swiftly airborne,

But ten of their number were fated to die."

Creaothceann was eventually made illegal in 1762, although Magnus "Dent-Head" Macdonald did spearhead a campaign to reintroduce the game in the 1960s. The Ministry of Magic refused to lift the ban.

Kennilworthy Whisp, Quidditch expert and author of Quidditch Through the Ages, speculated that the rocks from Creaothceann might have inspired the Bludgers used in Quidditch.

Though it was banned, it was still played illegally.[1]


Notes and references