A gang of Harry Potter fanatics turned a make-believe game into a real world sport in McCarren Park on Saturday.
Two teams of fiction-obsessed athletes staged a game of Quidditch — a high-flying sport practiced by wizards and witches of the bestselling young-adult novels.
But there was at least one key difference between the game depicted in the pages of J.K. Rowling’s books and the sport practiced on the soggy Greenpoint field — the players in Brooklyn couldn’t fly.
Instead of whizzing around the air on broomsticks, players from Emerson and Middlebury colleges ran around holding brooms between their legs while attempting to score points by throwing volleyballs through six makeshift hoops.
Players say they prefer remaining on the ground.
“Not being able to fly actually makes us work harder — it makes us real athletes,” said Ian Cardoni, a chaser for the Emerson squad, which traveled to Brooklyn to take part in a promotion to coincide with the July 15 release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
Flight is only one discrepancy between the version played in McCarren Park and Harry Potter’s airborne Quidditch, which is like a mix of lacrosse and basketball — as if played at a Renaissance fair (make that “faire”).
In the real-life game, iron balls called “bludgers” were replaced with kickballs, and a player wearing a gold T-shirt and gym shorts filled in for the “golden snitch” — a winged, walnut-sized ball that avoids players who try to catch it.
Despite the rain, some Harry Potter diehards waited for hours to watch the 7-on-7 game — which they claim is really taking off.
“Sure, we don’t fly, but the fact that they’ve pulled off making a fictional game real is pretty impressive,” said Jonathon Rosenthal, a spectator at the match.