On Dumbledore's Chocolate Frog card, it is mentioned that he enjoys playing ten-pin bowling. Here's the text for reference:

Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the Dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and ten-pin bowling.

This got me thinking if there are other Muggle sports that are popular in the wizarding world. Are there any other instances of non-magical sports being played/watched in the books or movies?

  • 2
    Does Dean Thomas and his West Ham United poster count?
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 2, 2018 at 9:06
  • He was a muggleborn right?
    – sudhanva
    Mar 2, 2018 at 9:11
  • I believe so, which is why I was asking if it counts.
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 2, 2018 at 9:12
  • Well, if he influenced a couple of wizards into following football, then yes.
    – sudhanva
    Mar 2, 2018 at 9:42
  • Incidentally, I don't think this quote shows that ten-pin bowling is popular in the wizarding world; it just shows that Dumbledore is a bit ... eccentric. Mar 2, 2018 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


"A substantial part of wizarding society knows nothing about Muggle sports"

While Dumbledore may have known about ten-pin bowling, according to Rowling on Pottermore, a substantial portion of wizards and witches were clueless about muggle sports.

The wizarding world’s affection for the Scottish rugby team is all the more bizarre because a substantial part of wizarding society knows nothing about Muggle sports, which they regard as inherently dull and even silly.
Scottish Rugby - Writings by J.K. Rowling, Pottermore

In fact, according to the International Statute of Secrecy, it is forbidden for wizards to take part in Muggle sports:

The International Statute of Secrecy expressly forbids wizards to participate in Muggle sport, but there is nothing illegal in supporting a Muggle side

There are, however, historical exceptions. In the article above, Rowling goes on to call the Scottish rugby team a "wizarding meme – part in-joke, part genuine interest...". The reason for the wizarding world's fondness for Scottish Rugby lies with Angus Buchanan, a squib. The full tale can be read in the article above, but in short, Angus was cast out by his father for being a squib, after a life of hardship and labour in Edinburgh from age 11, Angus had developed the skills to be selected for the first International Rugby match, between England and Scotland. This led Angus to becoming famous amongst Wizards and Muggles

Wizards of many nationalities began turning up to watch him play sport. Unfortunately, cricket found little favour with wizardkind... Rugby held more appeal. Wizards could not help but admire the strength and courage of Muggles prepared to engage in a sport so brutal, without recourse to Disapparating out of the way, or access to Skele-Gro to repair broken bones...

The Wizarding world had become so fond of the Scottish Rugby union they'd set up a supporters club, as well as tried to smuggle squibs into the national team, even if the aforementioned ban disallows it.

Shortly after Angus’s death, the Wizarding Supporters of Scottish Rugby Union was set up in his memory by his devoted fans. The WSSRU, which exists to this day, has both Scottish and foreign wizarding members.

However, the WSSRU has often had to deny the persistent rumour that its secret mission is to smuggle a talented Squib on to every Scottish team. Current suspects include Kelly Brown (possible cousin of Lavender’s), Jim Hamilton (strong resemblance to Hagrid) and Stuart Hogg (enough said).

However, muggle-borns, such as Hermione and Dean Thomas would almost certainly have been exposed to Muggle sports and followed such "shenanigans" after discovering their magical skills. It is however, as likely, that upon joining the Wizarding world, appreciation for such sports would dwindle as the general populace was either unaware or did not find interest in Muggle sports.

Evidence as to the disinterest from the Wizarding world in Muggle sports is evident at times in the books. As @Shreedhar points out (and the quote kindle provided by @Bellatrix) wizards were dumbfounded by the lack of movement in Muggle sports posters

Ron had already had a big argument with Dean Thomas, who shared their dormitory, about football. Ron couldn’t see what was exciting about a game with only one ball where no one was allowed to fly. Harry had caught Ron prodding Dean’s poster of West Ham football team, trying to make the players move.”
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 9: The Midnight Duel

Further evidence, again involving Dean Thomas and Ronald, is shown later in the same book, when Ron shows a lack of knowledge as to aspects of football (although he does acknowledge the existence of the sport).

“Down in the stands, Dean Thomas was yelling, ‘Send him off, ref! Red card!’

‘This isn’t football, Dean,’ Ron reminded him. ‘You can’t send people off in Quidditch – and what’s a red card?” Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 11: Quidditch

  • +1 for the details. Also, there was an instance in the books which mentioned the English club Newcastle United. I think it was in Dean Thomas' dorm where he has a poster of the whole team. Neville/Ron made fun of the people in the pictures not moving too.
    – Shreedhar
    Mar 2, 2018 at 10:23
  • 2
    Dean Thomas' room had a poster of "West Ham United".
    – Edlothiad
    Mar 2, 2018 at 10:23
  • Oh yeah. pardon me. it WAS West Ham united.
    – Shreedhar
    Mar 2, 2018 at 10:24
  • 2
    @Shreedhar if I find time and the texts, I'll extend the answer, but I don't want to drone on for too long.
    – Edlothiad
    Mar 2, 2018 at 10:32
  • Harry also compares Quidditch to basketball and Wood has no idea what he is talking about Mar 2, 2018 at 20:23

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