How to Play Quidditch Like Harry Potter

From Snitch to Bludgers: Rules for Playing Quidditch

Fictitious Harry Potter Sport Quidditch Comes To Real Life
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Quidditch is not just a cool literary concept created by J.K. Rowling for her Harry Potter novels. It is a co-ed team sport played on hundreds of college campuses around the world. There is even a World Cup tournament sponsored by the International Quidditch Association(IQA). First played at Middlebury College in 2005, "muggle quidditch" quickly caught on at college campuses across the country. One of the most appealing things about Quidditch is that it's a coed sport.

Quidditch has come a long way since it was first played over a decade ago. In fact:

"We have 170 college club teams around the country, and most of them are official club sports who receive funding," Alex Benepe, the head of the 5 person Quidditch governing board, told CNN.


Fun for Everyone

Quidditch is a great game for an off-to-college or 18th birthday party.

There's some variation in muggle versions of the game, of course. Surmounting the inability to fly takes some flexibility, after all.

Here's the lowdown on Quidditch rules, snitch and all, under IQA guidelines. You will also find a few variations at the end. Feel free to mix and match the game play if you are hosting a Quidditch party.


Each co-ed team consists of seven players.

  • Three chasers try to score by shooting the quaffle (a ball) through one of three goal hoops to earn 10 points.
  • Two beaters try to knock out players, dodgeball-style, with bludgers (more balls).
  • A keeper, armed with a short bat, protects the goal hoops.
  • A seeker - Harry's role - tries to grab the snitch.
  • The Snitch - In addition to the 14 players on the field, one non-allied player plays the role of the snitch, wearing a flag in his waistband that must be snatched, flag football-style, to end the game and win extra points.

    In the Harry Potter novels, it is a 150-point grab. In the IQA, it is a mere 30 points.

    Field of Play

    The Quidditch pitch is an oval field with three hoops at each end.

    The hoops are mounted vertically on poles at different heights. You can improvise with hula hoops, PVC pipe and duct tape.



    Every player, except the snitch, runs with a broom between his or her legs.

    Quaffles (Balls)

    • Use dodge balls or playground balls for the bright red quaffle.
    • Use two smaller black or blue balls per team for the bludgers.

    More Nitty Gritty:

    • Players can only handle their assigned balls - so beaters, for example, cannot score goals, and chasers cannot whack other players with bludgers.
    • Players who are hit by a bludger go back to their own goal posts and start again. If they were holding a quaffle at the time of impact, the ball is dropped on the spot.
    • The keeper cannot be knocked out by a bludger, unless he has left the safety of the goal zone - which would be a bad idea, in any case.
    • Beaters, chasers and keepers must stay within the game field's oval boundaries.
    • The snitch and seekers can go anywhere they want. It may be a good idea to map out boundaries of some sort ahead of time so the snitch doesn't, you know, leave town altogether.

      Variations of Quidditch

      • Some players use a Frisbee for the quaffle or give the keeper a tennis or racquetball racket instead of a bat.
      • Another variation is to "freeze" players with a bludger hit, instead of sending them across the field.
      • Instead of a human snitch, a small yellow superball can be tossed through the game from time to time by the referee.
      • The game field, of course, can be rectangular, instead of oval.


      Edited by Sharon Greenthal