The basics of quidditch are relatively straightforward. The game is played between two teams, and the fundamental idea is to end the game with more points than the opposing team. A roster can have up to 21 players for a quidditch match, but only 1 Keeper, 3 Chasers, 2 Beaters, 1 Seeker may be on-pitch at any given time.
To score points, three Chasers and one Keeper must work together to pass the quaffle through their opponent’s set of hoops. Each time they do so, they get 10 points for their team. To prevent the other team from scoring points, they must also defend their own set of hoops. Keepers play a key role on defense with their special goalkeeping powers.
Two Beaters use bludgers to help bolster their team’s offense and defense. The bludgers knock people out of the game temporarily. If a player is hit with a live bludger, they must let go of any ball they possess, dismount their broom, and tag a hoop before re-entering play. There are only three bludgers and four beaters, so it often takes strategic coordination for a team to have control of the bludgers.
After 17 minutes, the Snitch Runner is released, followed by a Seeker for each team at the 18-minute mark. The Seekers can try to either catch or defend the “snitch tail”, which is a small ball secured to the Snitch Runner’s shorts. The game typically ends when a Seeker grabs the snitch tail from the Snitch Runner, which also scores 30 points for their team.
Courtesy of UBC Quidditch
All of this can get complicated while on the pitch, so having a Head Referee is useful to oversee the game. For a full game, you’ll also need a Snitch Runner, who should be an unbiased third party participant with officiating power. A full game may also include up to three Assistant Referees (who mostly watch bludger play), one Snitch Referee (who supervises play surrounding the Snitch Runner), two Goal Referees (to verify whether the quaffle fully passes through the hoops and to reset the hoops should they move out of position), and a Scorekeeper and Timekeeper (who record goals, penalties, and other important game information). Learn more about officiating here and read the rules here.
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