Quidditch is the most popular sport in the Wizarding World. Originating in the eleventh century, it is now played by witches and wizards across the world. In Quidditch, two teams of seven fly on broomsticks around an oval-shaped grassy pitch. Teams attempt to score points by throwing a large red ball (Quaffle) through one of three fifty foot goalposts. There are seven players on a Quidditch team, each with a unique role.
The word Quidditch has its origins in the British-location where the sport originated: Queerditch Marsh. A millennium later, the sport of Quidditch has evolved greatly to reach its current form. Read on to learn about all aspects of this popular magical sport.
Anatomy of a Quidditch team
A Quidditch team consists of seven players:
3 x Chasers
Three Chasers attempt to score points for their team. The Chasers handle and pass the Quaffle — a large red ball — and attempt to throw it through one of three hoops located at the end of the pitch. Each goal scored gives the team in possession ten points.
2 x Beaters
Two Beaters protect their teammates from the Bludgers — two black iron balls which fly around the pitch attempting to knock players off their brooms. The Beaters use a baseball-like club to knock the Bludgers off course or into the path of opposition players.
1 x Keeper
The Keeper protects their team’s goalposts and tries to block incoming shots from the opposition team.
1 x Seeker
The Seeker is required to search for and catch the Golden Snitch — a small and golden walnut-sized ball which flies erratically around the pitch. The capture of the Snitch earns the Seeker’s team one hundred and fifty points and ends the game. A game of Quidditch only ends when the Golden Snitch is caught.
A Quidditch match is played with four balls:
1 x Quaffle
The Quaffle is scarlet red and roughly size of a football. It is equipped with a Gripping Charm in order to help players catch it. It is also enchanted with a charm which reduces its speed if it falls from the sky.
2 x Bludgers
The Bludgers are ten-inch black iron balls. They target players and attempt to knock them off their brooms.
1 x Golden Snitch
The Golden Snitch is a golden walnut-sized ball with silver wings. It flies erratically around the pitch. The Seeker is the only player permitted to touch the Snitch.
Six in all, the fifty foot high goalposts are grouped at each end of the pitch.
Each Beater is equipped with small magically-reinforced baseball-like club capable of repelling the Bludgers.
There are a wide range of broomsticks in the Wizarding World. Brooms vary in price and quality and more expensive brooms (like the Firebolt) have improved speed and handling.
Did you know
- While Quidditch has its origins in the eleventh century, a number of primitive broomstick games were likely inspirations for the modern game. In Germany, witches and wizards played ‘Stichstock’, while the Irish and Scottish games of ‘Aingingein’ and ‘Creaothceann’ were violent and sometimes fatal. In one primitive game, players flew uprooted trees.
- The longest Quidditch match lasted approximately three months. Teams had to bring on substitutes so that players could sleep.
- Before the Golden Snitch, the Seeker attempted to catch the Golden Snidget — a magical Snitch-like bird which was driven to near-extinction through Quidditch. Metal-charmer Bowman Wright invented the Golden Snitch as a replacement.
- The Golden Snitch has a flesh memory and can recall its first human contact. As such, it’s never touched by human hands before a match, and Snitch manufactures must wear protective gloves. The flesh memory helps avoid disputes between Seekers over who caught the Snitch first.
Quidditch at Hogwarts
Each Hogwarts house (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Hufflepuff) competes for the annual Quidditch Cup.
Quidditch is a sport played both domestically and internationally. The international Quidditch World Cup is held every four years. The 1994 Quidditch World Cup took place in Britain, where Ireland defeated Bulgaria in the final. The 2014 Quidditch World Cup took place in Argentina and Bulgaria defeated Brazil.
A number of teams compete in the domestic British and Irish Quidditch league.
- Appleby Arrows
- Ballycastle Bats
- Caerphilly Catapults
- Chudley Cannons
- Falmouth Falcons
- Holyhead Harpies
- Kenmare Kestrels
- Montrose Magpies
- Pride of Portree
- Puddlemere United
- Tutshill Tornados
- Wigtown Wanderers
- Wimbourne Wasps
- Nimbus 1000
- Nimbus 1500
- Nimbus 2000
- Nimbus 2001
- Cleansweep One
- Cleansweep Two
- Cleansweep Three
- Cleansweep Four
- Cleansweep Five
- Cleansweep Six
- Cleansweep Seven
- Comet One-Forty
- Comet One-Eighty
- Comet Two-Sixty
- Oakshaft 79
- The Bluebottle
- Twigger 90
- Silver Arrow
- Shooting Star