An In-Depth Guide to Quidditch

I’m sure all of you have heard of the amazing book series by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter. Hopefully, all of you who’ve read the books or watched the movies know about the one wizarding sport called Quidditch. But you’re probably wondering: Keira, how do you even play Quidditch? How many players are involved? Is it dangerous? How long is a full game? Well, I’m glad you asked, because I’m about to tell you!

In a full game of Quidditch, there are fourteen players with seven players on each team. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Gryffindor Quidditch captain Oliver Wood said: “Each team has seven players. Three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and a seeker; that’s you.”

On the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Harry is the seeker, Oliver Wood is the keeper, the three chasers are Angelina Johnson, Katie Bell, Alicia Spinnet, and, last but not least, the beaters are Fred and George Weasley (AKA my favorite characters and the best ones in the entire series). There are four different balls used in a full game. The biggest one is the quaffle. Wood added: “The chasers handle the quaffle and try to get it through one of those three hoops. The keeper; that’s me, defends the hoops. With me so far?”

The next two balls are the bludgers. These are bewitched to fly at people very fast to try and knock them off their brooms. The two beaters have bats to hit the bludgers at the other team. Fred and George Weasley said: “Our job is to make sure that YOU don’t get bloodied up too bad. Can’t make any promises of course; rough game, Quidditch! Brutal, but no one’s died in years. Someone will vanish occasionally, but they’ll turn up in a month or two!” 

That just leaves the golden snitch. The snitch is the smallest ball out of all the balls used. It’s about the size of a golf ball, it’s gold, and it has wings. Oliver Wood said: “Ah, you like it now. But just wait, it’s wicked fast and damn near impossible to see.” 

What the seeker has to do is catch the snitch before the other team’s seeker does. In doing this, the seeker gets 150 points, ends the game, and wins the game for their team. So basically, Quidditch is just baseball, basketball, dodgeball, and catch all in one, and played on broomsticks. Oh yeah, and also the game goes on until the seeker catches the snitch. The longest Quidditch game ever lasted about three months. Yeah, you heard it right, THREE BLOODY MONTHS. That just goes to show how fast the snitch is!

Hogwarts isn’t the only place where you can watch a game of Quidditch, though. In the fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys go to the Quidditch World Cup. This is basically like the World Series except instead of having seven games, there are 16 games in the World Cup. This specific game that Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys went to was the last game: Ireland versus Bulgaria. The seeker for the Bulgarians was Viktor Krum, who (according to George Weasley) was the best seeker in the world. Now, this might be true because he did catch the snitch, even though Ireland still won with 170 points, just beating Bulgaria by 10 points. Right now though, you’re probably thinking: Hold on Keira, didn’t you just say that whoever caught the snitch wins the game? Well, yes, I did, but here’s the thing. You can still catch the snitch and lose because the other team might still have more points than you, even with the 150 points that you just earned. I know it’s complicated, but once you start following it, it’s kinda cool! 

This is pretty obvious, but it can also be very dangerous. Wood said: “Scared, Harry? I felt the same way about my first Quidditch game. Took a bludger to the head two minutes in. Woke up in the hospital a week later.” 

Well, I guess that’s a pretty accurate representation of how dangerous it can be. In fact, in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, something happened to him with a bludger. He had just caught the snitch, and then a bludger that had been bewitched to chase him throughout the whole game came down and hit his arm so hard it broke. Then Professor Lockhart (literally the dumbest, most arrogant person in the whole book series, and that’s saying something, considering he’s a Ravenclaw anyways…) performed a spell on Harry that was supposed to fix his arm, but instead, it took all the bones out of his arm which caused him to have to take a bone regrowing potion. Sooo… yeah, that’s what could happen during a game of Quidditch, just to give you an idea of how dangerous it can be. 

All in all, Quidditch is a very interesting and exciting sport that I wish was possible to play because that honestly would be pretty cool, but back to what I was saying. So, the next time you sit down to read a Harry Potter book or watch one of the movies, if there’s a Quidditch scene going on, try to pay attention to what’s happening. I promise it’s pretty cool.

Keira Hyatt ‘26, Staff Writer