Quidditch over crossed broomsticks

What is Quidditch?

The most comprehensive answer can be found by reading Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp and the Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling.

The game is played on an open field with two sets of three hoops atop fifty-foot poles located at opposite ends of the field. The pitch is an oval 500 feet long and 180 feet wide at the center. There is a two-foot circle in the center of the pitch where the game starts.

Quidditch is, in some ways, a three dimensional basketball game played on broomsticks. That similarity can be seen in the play with the red ball, the Quaffle.

Red Quaffle

The Quaffle, red leather and 12 inches in diameter, is handled by the three Chasers on a team, who attempt to take the ball down to their opponent's end of the pitch and throw it through one of the three hoops. Every time they succeed they are awarded 10 points. The Quaffle is charmed to slow its fall to ground.

Unlike basketball, not only is "goal tending" legal, there is a player assigned to that task, the Keeper. The Keeper's function is to stop the opposing Chasers from scoring. The role of the Keeper is similar to the same position on an earth-bound soccer/football team.

While the play of the Quaffle might be enough for Muggles, wizards enjoy injecting risk into their pursuits. This is effected by two other balls, the Bludgers.

Black BludgerBlack Bludger

The Bludgers, black, iron and 10 inches in diameter, are like independent heat seeking air-to-air missiles. Bludgers rocket around the pitch looking for the players. When a Bludger senses a player, it shoots towards the individual with bone-crunching force.

To protect themselves from the Bludgers, a team has two Beaters who are armed with bats to deflect the Bludgers, hopefully towards a member of the opposing team.

The final element that separates Quidditch from the mundane is provided by the fourth ball, the Golden Snitch*.

Golden Snitch

The Snitch, golden with silver wings and the size of a golf ball, is fast and secretive. It may zip around, or hang dormant in a totally random fashion. There is no time limit on a Quidditch match, the game continues until the Snitch is captured or the two Captains agree to stop.

The seventh and last member of the team is the Seeker who is tasked with capturing the Snitch. The Snitch is worth 150 points, and that is generally sufficient to win a game.

* originally the Snidget, a small, generally spherical bird with golden feathers was used in the game, but the rising popularity of Quidditch lead to an alarming decline in the Snidget population and the Snitch was created to as a replacement. The wings on the Snitch are a reminder of its origin.

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While there are hundreds of different fouls in Quidditch, a general rule is that you may not make contact with an opposing player except when you are making a reasonable effort to control one of the balls. This is similar to the requirement in soccer/football that you must play the ball, not the opponent,

A fouled player is allowed a shot on the goal opposed only by the Keeper.

Flying beyond the boundaries of the pitch causes the offending team to lose the Quaffle.

Play is begun at the circle in the center of the pitch on the ground. The opposing team Captains meet and shake hands. The single official, the Referee, then blows his/her whistle and releases the Snitch and Bludgers and throws the Quaffle into the air.

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BluebottleFamily transportation
CleansweepMid-range sport - Current Model: 11
CometMid-range sport - Current Model: 290
FireboltAll out performance
Oakshaft 79The most desirable vintage broom
MoontrimmerVintage with excellent high altitude flight
NimbusHigh end sport - Current Model: 2001
Shooting StarEconomy sport [out of production]
Silver ArrowVintage sport
SwiftstickVintage sport
TinderblastVintage sport
Twiggle 90Expensive and always in the shop

While handles are made from a variety of woods, birch twigs are generally favored for the sweep. Flight characteristics are a combination of the strength and selection of Charms, as well as the craftmanship in the manufacture.

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World Cup

Hassan Mostafa
International Association of Quidditch

Position Bulgaria Ireland
SeekerViktor KrumAiden Lynch
Final Score 160 170

This match was not nearly as close as the score would indicate. The Bulgarian Seeker, Krum, captured the Snitch, but the Irish Chasers were in total control of the game until that point.

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League Teams

Appleby Arrows Ballycastle Bats Caerphilly Catapults Chudley Cannons Falmouth Falcons Holyhead Harpies Kenmare Kestrals Montrose Magpies Pride of Portee Puddlemere United Tutshill Tornados Wigtown Wanderers Wimbourn Wasps

Dangerous Dai Commemorative Medal

Awarded each season to the individual player in the League who has demonstrated the spirit of "Dangerous" Dai Llewellyn by taking outrageous risks while playing.

Dai Llewellyn, the noted player for the Caerphilly Catapults, was eaten by a chimæra while vacationing ¹ in Greece. Fan contributions have led to St. Mungo's naming its Bite Ward ² for Llewellyn.

1. Llewellyn was vacationing, although the chimæra might have also been on holiday. There is no evidence for the rumor that a large quantity of retsina led to a wager concerning Dai's ability to capture a chimæra with olive pits and cobwebs *.

2. Staff initially voted to name the Broomstick Crash ward for him as his antics had been known to fill the ward with people emulating him.

* This may have been a translation problem as Greek wizards normally use a deep pit, olive wood clubs, and a large net woven to resemble a spider's web. The net is created with inch-thick ropes made from silk and silver threads with four separate anti-break Charms and a heavy-duty fire suppression Charm.

‡ When I say "normally", I don't mean to imply that Greek wizards are queuing to capture chimærae. This is the plan they use when they are forced to deal with a chimæra.

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Hogwarts House Teams
Position Gryffindor Hufflepuff Ravenclaw Slytherin
CaptainAngelina JohnsonZacharias SmithRoger DaviesMontague
SeekerHarry Potter - Ginny WeasleySummerbyCho ChangDraco Malfoy
KeeperRon Weasley  Miles Bletchley
BeaterFred Weasley - Andrew Kirke  Vincent Crabbe
BeaterGeorge Weasley - Jack Sloper  Gregory Goyle
ChaserKatie BellZacharias SmithBradleyMontague
ChaserAngelina Johnson ChambersAdrian Pucey
ChaserAlicia Spinnet Roger DaviesWarrington

After an extremely spotty season plagued by personnel changes, the Gryffindor team managed to salvage the Cup in the last game with a convincing win over Ravenclaw. The strength of the Lions' veteran front three and confident play by a rookie Seeker were offset by a very shaky start for the new Keeper and less than inspired play by the green Beaters. As they are losing two Chasers to graduation continued success is certainly not guaranteed.

If the Hufflepuff Seeker improves after a disappointing first year, the Cup will belong to the Badgers next season. Slim wins over Gryffindor and Slytherin show their potential.

The fortunes of Ravenclaw rise and fall with their Seeker, because their Chasers can't score.

As a team, Slytherin has the best brooms at the School. They need to find some players to mount on those brooms.

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