Quidditch is a semi-contact sport played on broomsticks over a playing field with two sets of three goal hoops on either end. The game is played worldwide and thousands of witches and wizards attend the Quidditch World Cup every four years.
Taken from Quidditch Through the Ages
The following rules were set down by the Department of Magical Games and Sports upon its formation in 1750:
- Though there is no limit imposed on the height to which a player may rise during the game, he or she may not stray over the boundary lines of the pitch. Should a player fly over the boundary, his or her team must surrender the quaffle to the opposing team.
- The captain of a team may call for a time out by signaling to the referee. This is the only time players' feet are allowed to touch the ground during a match. Time out may be extended to a two-hour period if a game has lasted more than twelve hours. Failure to return to the pitch after two hours leads to the team's disqualification.
- The referee may award penalties against a team. The chaser taking the penalty will fly from the center circle towards the scoring area. All players other than the opposing keeper must keep well back while the penalty is taken.
- The quaffle may be taken from another player's grasp but under no circumstances must one player seize hold of any part of another player's anatomy.
- In the case of injury, no substitution of players will take place. The team will play on without the injured player.
- Wands may be taken onto the pitch but must under no circumstances whatsoever be used against opposing team members, any opposing team member's broom, the referee, any of the balls, or any member of the crowd. (The right to carry a wand at all times was established by the International Confederation of Wizards in 1692, when Muggle persecution was at its height and the wizards were planning to retreat into hiding.)
- A game of Quidditch ends only when the golden snitch has been caught, or by mutual consent of the two team captains.
Taken from Quidditch Through the Ages
Rules are, of course, made to be broken. Seven hundred Quidditch fouls are listed in the Department of Magical Games and Sports records, and all of them are known to have occurred during the final of the first ever World Cup in 1473. The full list of these fouls, however, has never been made available to the wizarding public. It is the Department's view that witches and wizards who see the list might get ideas.
Ninety percent of the fouls listed are, in any case, impossible as long as the ban on using wands against the opposing team is upheld (this ban was imposed in 1538). Of the remaining ten percent, it is safe to say that most would not occur to even the dirtiest players. This is not to say that modern Quidditch players never break rules.
Ten common fouls are listed below:
- Blagging - applies to all players - seizing opponent's broom tail to slow or hinder
- Blatching - applies to all players - flying with intent to collide
- Blurting - applies to all players - locking broom handles with a view to steer opponent off course
- Bumphing - applies to beaters only - hitting bludger towards crowd, necessitating a halt of the game as officials rush to protect bystanders; sometimes used by unscrupulous players to prevent an opposing chaser from scoring
- Cobbing - applies to all players - excessive use of elbows towards opponents
- Flacking - applies to keeper only - sticking any portion of anatomy through goal hoop to punch quaffle out; keeper is supposed to block the goal hoop from the front rather than the rear
- Haversacking - applies to chasers only - hand still on quaffle as it goes through goal hoop (quaffle must be thrown)
- Quafflepocking - applies to chasers only - tampering with the quaffle, e.g. puncturing it so that it falls more quickly or zigzags
- Snitchnip - applies to all players except seeker - any player other than seeker touching or catching the golden snitch
- Stooging - applies to chasers only - more than one chaser entering the scoring area
Below is a list of the more well-known Quidditch moves that have been invented over the course of history and that almost every Quidditch fan should be able to recognize.
- Bludger Backbeat - the beater strikes the bludger with a backhanded club swing, sending it behind him/her rather than in front. Precision difficult, but good for confusing opponents.
- Dopplebeater Defense - both beaters hit a bludger at the same time for extra power.
- Double Eight Loop - a keeper defense, usually used against penalty-takers. Keeper swerves around all three goals at high speed to block the quaffle.
- Hawkshead Attacking Formation - the chasers position themselves into an arrowhead pattern and fly together toward the goalposts. Highly intimidating, effective in forcing other players aside.
- Parkin's Pincer - two chasers close in on an opposing chaser on both sides, and the third chaser flies headlong towards him/her. Named after original member of Wigtown Wanderers.
- Plumpton Pass - a seemingly careless swerve by the seeker that scoops the snitch up his/her sleeve. Named after Roderick Plumpton, a Tutshill Tornado seeker, who used this move in the famous 1921 catch of the snitch.
- Porskoff Ploy - the chaser with the quaffle flies upward to make the opposing chasers think he/she is trying to escape them to score, but then quickly throws the quaffle down to another chaser waiting to catch it. Pinpoint timing necessary. Named after Petrova Porskoff, a Russian chaser.
- Reverse Pass - a chaser throws the quaffle over one shoulder to a fellow chaser. Accuracy difficult.
- Sloth Grip Roll - the player hangs upside down off the broom, gripping with hand and feet to avoid a bludger.
- Starfish and Stick - the keeper holds the broom horizontally with one hand and foot, but keeps all limbs outstretched.
- Transylvanian Tackle - a fake punch aimed at the nose that is not illegal so long as no contact is made. Difficult to pull of when both parties are on speeding broomsticks. First seen in 1473 World Cup.
- Wollongong Shimmy - a high-speed zigzag movement intended to throw off opposing chasers. Perfected by Australian Wollongong Warriors.
- Wronski Feint - the seeker hurtles downward, intending to make the other seeker believe he/she has seen the snitch, but pull out of the dive just before hitting the ground. Intended to make the opposition copy him/her and crash. Named after Polish seeker Josef Wronski.
The Quidditch World Cup is a huge tournament between all of the major Quidditch-playing countries of the world. It started in 1473 and took place every year, up until 1862 when it switched to every four year. The host country is chosen two years prior to the start of the games. Fans from all over the world come to cheer on players, especially at the final game, which usually takes place in late August.
Unlike the individual countries' leagues, the national teams do not have team names (instead of the Canada Canaries, for instance, they are just "the Canadian team" or "Team Canada").
Below is a list of years when the World Cup took place (branching only five games before and after the '94 tournament that Harry Potter attended), the countries that played the final game (with the winner in bold), and the host country (in italics).
- 1974: Transylvania v. Luxembourg @ Brazil
- 1978: Bulgaria v. Japan @ Australia
- 1982: USA v. Germany @ France
- 1986: Japan v. Egypt @ Japan
- 1990: Bulgaria v. Korea @ Peru
- *1994: Ireland v. Bulgaria @ England
- 1998: China v. Peru @ China
- 2002: USA v. Transylvania @ Egypt
- 2006: Luxembourg v. Ireland @ Bulgaria
- 2010: Ireland v. Japan @ USA
- 2014: not played @ Canada
* the summer before Harry's fourth year
The teams are sorted by continent. This is by no means a complete list. Most team names are taken from Quidditch Through The Ages.
- Gimbi Giant-Slayers (Oromia Region)
- Sumbawanga Sunrays (Rukwa Region)
- Tchamba Charmers (Centrale Region)
- Patongo Proudsticks (Northern Uganda)
- Foshan Fireballs (Guangdong Province)
- Toyohashi Tengu (Aichi Prefecture)
- Seoul Sunchasers (South Korea)
- Brussels Basilisks (Capital Region)
- British Isles
- Appleby Arrows (Appleby, Northern England)
- Ballycastle Bats (Ballycastle, Northern Ireland)
- Caerphilly Catapults (Caerphilly, Wales)
- Chudley Cannons (Chudleigh, Devon, England)
- Falmouth Falcons (Falmouth, Cornwall)
- Holyhead Harpies (Holyhead, Wales)
- Kenmare Kestrels (Kenmare, County Kerry)
- Montrose Magpies (Montrose, Angus)
- Pride of Portree (Portree, Isle of Skye)
- Puddlemere United (River Piddle, Dorset)
- Tutshill Tornados (Tutshill, Gloucestershire)
- Wigtown Wanderers (Wigton, Domfries and Galloway)
- Wimbourne Wasps (Wimborne, Dorset)
- Vratsa Vultures (Vratsa Province)
- Quiberon Quafflepunchers (Bretagne)
- Heidelberg Harriers (Baden-Württemberg)
- Gorodok Gargoyles (Vilnius)
- Bigonville Bombers (Rambrouch)
- Amsterdam Augureys (North Holland)
- Karasjok Kites (Finnmark)
- Grodzisk Goblins (Grodzisk Wielkopolski County)
- Braga Broomfleet (Braga District)
- Transylvania Tebos (Transylvania)
- Haileybury Hammers (Ontario)
- Moose Jaw Meteorites (Saskatchewan)
- Stonewall Stormers (Manitoba)
- United States
- Fitchburg Finches (Massachusetts) - changed name to Salem
- Juneau Jabberwockies (Alaska)
- Lauderdale Lethifolds (Florida)
- New York Nundus (New York)
- Philadelphia Phoenixes (Pennsylvania)
- Riverside Revolution (California)
- Salem Sorcerers (Massachusetts) - formerly Fitchburg Finches
- Sweetwater All-Stars (Texas)
- Yarmouth Yetis (Maine)
- Thundelarra Thunderers (Western Australia)
- Wollongong Warriors (Illawarra Region)
- New Zealand
- Moutohora Macaws (Bay of Plenty)
- Recoleta Rippers (Buenos Aires)
- Mauá Maulers (São Paulo)
- Tarapoto Tree-Skimmers (San Martin)