Quidditch has long been a standard in the wizarding world, and British teams boast some of the most skilled and dedicated athletes in the world. The sport is a safe haven for families to take their children as a form of entertainment and family outings, and players are held to the highest standards.
In recent years, however, there have been increasing concerns about the moral decline in players, who serve as role models to so many young wizards. "You can't just bring your son to the matches anymore, can you?" one longtime fan asked during a recent interview. "The sort of players that take to the Pitch now - they attract the worst sorts of fans, and I just don't want to expose my son to that."
Her concerns are echoed by many. In just the most recent and blatant display, the Wimbourne Wasps, a team whose starting lineup has been recently in talks for increased salaries, despite spotty play records and the coaches' desire to shake up the team's performance by ending a number of contracts, staged a blatant political stunt. In what was said to be a bid on behalf of muggleborn wizards, the team refused to take the air for their most recent match against the well-regarded Caerphilly Catapults. Instead, the team, dressed in scanty and blatantly scandalous clothing and bearing signs with vulgar slogans, paraded onto the Pitch and staged a sit in. "Quite frankly, no one knew what it was they were trying to accomplish," one baffled viewer told the Prophet. "There were a half dozen wizards there who'd already gone through the Ministry's checkpoint, and were trying to tell them that it was a matter of safety for everyone that the Ministry was cracking down, but they just wouldn't listen. If you ask me, it was all just a play for a bit of free press. The Wasps are starting to sink as low as the Cannons, these days."
He wasn't alone in this view. While the Catapults acted with dignity and retired the field with apologies to their fans, the Wasps refused to go, nearly inciting a riot when a stray bludger they'd taken onto the Pitch hit a young onlooker, who was rushed to St. Mungo's for Healing. The ploy may have won them attention, but it lost them not just the match, but an additional 100 points from their record, as decided by the head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports.
"This kind of behavior won't be tolerated," representatives of the Wasps told us. As of this printing, four of the six starting players for the Wasps had been released from their contracts and disbarred from the Quidditch Association, with the fate of the remaining players uncertain. The released players could not be reached for comment.
Disappointed fans who had to leave the stadium without seeing the match told us that they were glad for the ruling, and hoped that it would help bring standards back to the League.