Welcome to Harry Potter 101! A series all about getting back to the basics of the stories. Whether you’ve just discovered the wizarding world or have been here since 1997, we think you’ll learn something new. Today, we’re offering you a guide to everything you need to know about Quidditch.

First thing first, let’s kick-off with a quick overview of what the game of Quidditch is. This is a wizarding sport played on broomsticks where two teams of seven face each other with the aim of scoring as many points as possible. Points can either be gained by scoring the Quaffle through the hoops at the end of the pitch or by catching the Golden Snitch. The game will only end once the Golden Snitch has been caught by the team’s Seeker. Fun fact! There are seven hundred ways to commit a foul in Quidditch and they all happened in one World Cup match in 1473.


Quidditch pitch
Well, you can’t have a game of Quidditch without a place to play it! Quidditch is played on an oval, grassy pitch with a set of three Quidditch hoops at each end. As the game is airborne, the surrounding stands (which house the fans) are raised so that spectators can get an unobstructed view of their favourite players executing a perfect Wronski Feint or Wollongong Shimmy.

The goalposts at the end of the Quidditch pitch are a set of three individual hoops that rise up about fifty feet in the air (this really isn’t a sport for those afraid of heights). Harry once thought that they reminded him of ‘the little plastic sticks Muggle children blew bubbles through’… except the ones at Hogwarts were gold.

As a sport that takes place completely in the sky, there needs to be a way for players to remain firmly in the clouds. Luckily, every Quidditch player can achieve this by using a broomstick. Unlike their Muggle counterparts, which are more suited to sweeping, the wizarding version flies. There’s not just one type of broom a budding Quidditch player could buy from a shop like Quality Quidditch Supplies. No, no, there are a huge assortment from the humble Cleansweep Five to the top-of-the-range Firebolt.

This is the ball used by the team’s Chasers to score points. Round, red and similar in size to a football, each time it is thrown through the opposing team’s goalpost, it earns 10 points… That might sound like rather a lot but it’s nothing compared to what the teeny tiny Snitch will get you.

Golden Snitch
Speaking of which, the Snitch is a tiny golden ball, the size of a walnut, with fluttering silver wings – how cute! Don’t be fooled by its diminutive size, according to Gryffindor Quidditch captain, Oliver Wood, it’s the most important ball on the pitch. Tiny and hard to see, once caught by a team’s Seeker the Quidditch match will end, and that team will be awarded 150 points – often (but not always) securing their victory.

Interestingly, when a Snitch is created, the makers have to wear gloves because they are designed to remember the first person who touches them – which certainly comes in handy when there are quarrels about which team caught it!

Now this is a ball that causes many Quidditch players a headache… and we mean that literally. Jet-black, slightly smaller than the Quaffle and with the ability to move around on its own, two Bludgers will zoom around the pitch during a game with the sole aim of knocking the players off their brooms. And that is why they literally cause headaches.


The Keeper on a Quidditch team acts rather like a football goalie. There is one Keeper per team, and they are responsible for protecting the team’s goalposts at the end of the Quidditch pitch. Their aim is to stop the Chasers on the other team from scoring. Harry’ first Quidditch Captain, Oliver Wood, played this position with, let’s say, unrivalled enthusiasm.

There are three Chasers on each Quidditch team, and their job is to use the Quaffle to score goals by throwing them through one of the opposing team’s three hoops. Good teamwork is essential as the Chasers have to constantly throw the ball to one another, while dodging Bludgers and remaining on their brooms the entire time – which sounds rather stressful to us!

Interestingly, the role of Chaser is the oldest Quidditch position while others have changed slightly over the years (or were added in later). This is because the game was once much simpler – though probably less exciting – and focussed wholly on goalscoring.

Remember those Bludgers that liked to knock Quidditch players off their brooms? How would you avoid being stuck by one of them? Well, this is where the Beaters come in. There are two on every Quidditch team and their job is to stop the Bludgers from hitting their teammates. They do this by using a bat to knock them off course and towards the opposing team. This is one of the most physically demanding positions, and not one suited to clumsy types. Beaters need to have exceptional balance because they sometimes need to take both hands off their broom.

The role of Seeker is often filled by the lightest and fastest member of the Quidditch team – excellent eyesight doesn’t go amiss either. A Seeker’s purpose is to catch the Golden Snitch, ending the match and securing 150 points for their team. While the role of Seeker is often considered glamourous (and they’re often the best fliers on the pitch), they’re also the player most likely to be fouled and sustain injuries. In Brutus Scrimgeour’s book, The Beaters Bible, rule number one is ‘Take out the Seeker’!

Notable tournaments

Inter-house Quidditch tournament
This was a tournament played by the four house teams at Hogwarts. Throughout the season, they would all play each other in various matches. At the end of the season, the house that had accumulated the most points would win and lift the Quidditch Cup – a huge honour. It was Oliver Wood’s biggest dream to win this and put his team through rigorous training drills (despite their complaints) to try and make this a reality.

Quidditch World Cup
This is a tournament held every four years, where Quidditch teams from around the world compete against each other in the hope of winning the World Cup. It was first held in 1473… though the first couple of centuries of the tournament only included teams that hailed from Europe. Harry had the chance to watch the 422nd final of the Quidditch World Cup in 1994 – a nail-biting showdown between Ireland and Bulgaria (though a lot of the action took place off the pitch).

Quidditch League
The Quidditch League of Britain and Ireland was formed in 1674 and consists of thirteen Quidditch teams. Interestingly, the League was established to try and limit the amount of Quidditch games held each year, so Muggles wouldn’t become suspicious. While amateur games of Quidditch are still allowed (such as the games played at Hogwarts), once the thirteen top teams were selected, all others were asked to disband. Despite their terrible losing streak (they haven’t won since 1892), Ron’s favourite team, the Chudley Cannons are a member of this League.

European Cup
Established in 1652, the European Cup is made up of Quidditch teams from all across, you guessed it, Europe. The tournament is held every three years. Out of all the European teams, the most renowned are probably the Bulgarian Vratsa Vultures who are not only thrilling to watch but have won the cup seven times!