How to Play Quidditch From Harry Potter
What Is Quidditch?
Quidditch is a sport created by J.K. Rowling for her novels centered around Harry Potter. It is played in the Harry Potter universe by witches and wizards both professionally and just for fun and is made up of two teams on broomsticks.
Not only is it played at Hogwarts but also in professional teams. The Quidditch World Cup, established in 1473, is held every four years and features teams from around the world. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter attends the 422nd game. Harry is also the Seeker for Gryffindor's team at Hogwarts and becomes the captain in his sixth year.
Quidditch matches are played in an oval-shaped arena, similar to the diagram below. The field is 500 feet long with a center circle (the core) that is two feet in diameter. A line down its center marks mid-field.
Each end of the Quidditch field features three hoops at varying heights: one is 30 feet, the other 40 feet, and the third is 50 feet tall. Shaded areas around the goalposts mark the scoring area, which also serves as a boundary in which the Keepers can play.
Did You Know?
The word "Quidditch" is derived from Queerditch Marsh, the location of the first recorded game.
What Equipment Is Needed?
Quidditch features three different types of balls:
- the quaffle
- the bludger
- the snitch
The quaffle is circular with four large dimples. It is also scarlet in color (to give it a better contrast with mud) and 12 inches in diameter. Quaffles are enchanted so that they fall slower and are easy to grasp, which makes them easier for Quidditch players to retrieve when it is dropped. There is only one quaffle used in a Quidditch game. If a Chaser manages to get it past the Keeper and into one of the hoops at the opposing team's end, they score 10 points for their team.
The bludger is 10 inches in diameter, round, jet black, and made of iron. Quidditch games feature two bludgers, which are enchanted to fly on their own and attempt to knock players off of their brooms. They serve as obstacles for all players, no matter which team they are on. Beaters carry around short wooden clubs to help beat them out of the way of their teammates, usually toward the opposing team.
The golden snitch is the smallest of the Quidditch game equipment, at about one inch in diameter. It is golden with silver wings and is enchanted to zip around the field, avoiding capture. The Seekers try to catch the snitch. Once it is caught, that team scores 150 points and the match is over.
Other Quidditch game equipment includes broomsticks, short wooden clubs, and uniforms.
A Quidditch match is played by two teams made up of seven players. There are three Chasers, two Beaters, one Keeper, and one Seeker. Chasers keep possession of the quaffle and try to score a point by throwing it through one of three hoops on the opposing team's side. They can pass the ball to each other but only one is allowed in the scoring area at any time.
The Keeper protects the hoops from an oncoming quaffle by flying in front of them in the scoring area. Beaters protect their teammates by hitting bludgers away from them and usually toward the opposing team. They are not allowed to aim at referees, crowds, or the Keeper, unless the quaffle happens to be in the scoring area.
The Seeker's job may sound easy but it is probably the most important and equally difficult position of the game. They're in charge of capturing the ever-elusive golden snitch, which happens to be about the size of a walnut and tries its best to keep away from players. Once the Seeker successfully catches the snitch, they earn their team 150 points and end the game. Most times, whichever team catches the snitch wins.
The longest ever Quidditch game supposedly lasted about three months.
How to Play Quidditch
Quidditch games are played in the air on broomsticks.
- The game starts when a referee releases the quaffle, bludgers, and snitch. While Beaters keep bludgers at bay and the Seeker goes off in search of the snitch, Chasers try to get the quaffle through a hoop at the opposing team's end of the field. The Keeper blocks the hoops. If a goal is scored, they toss the quaffle back into play.
- All players must avoid the bludgers and the snitch. If any player but one of the Seekers come in contact with the snitch, it is a foul. The length of the game varies depending on how soon the Seeker is able to catch the snitch. Games may also end by mutual consent between team captains.
There's no doubt that Quidditch sounds like a fun game to play. While we muggles may not have enchantments or flying brooms, there are still many real-life versions of the game out there, including Muggle Quidditch, that we can actually play. There are even teams, tournaments, and an International Quidditch Association.
Are There Fouls in Quidditch?
There are 700 Quidditch fouls listed in the Department of Magical Games and Sports records but most are not open to the public for fear that witches and wizards "might get ideas."
Did You Know?
While Quidditch is featured in the Harry Potter novels, the majority of information on the sport can be found in Quidditch Through the Ages.