Quidditch is a fictional airborne ballgame played on broomsticks, a sort of magical variant of football or polo. It was devised by J. K. Rowling for her Harry Potter series of children's books.

Quidditch is the most popular game of the wizarding world. There are numerous professional teams and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has one team for each house in the school. In the fourth book, Harry attends the Quidditch World Cup for international teams. Quidditch has taken an important role in the first 6 books, but Rowling has said in a recent interview that the last quidditch match she would ever write was in the 6th book.

A. Rules

Quidditch is played on a long oval field with three goal hoops on posts at each end. The team that scores the most points wins. There are seven players to a team: one Keeper, two Beaters, three Chasers and a Seeker. They play with four balls.

The Quaffle is inert and the equivalent to the one ball used in many muggle games, though it has a charm placed on it so that it slows as it falls. Chasers handle it, trying to throw it through one of the hoops of the opposing team, which is worth ten points. The Keeper guards his or her goal hoops. Two heavy iron balls called Bludgers fly around the field on their own trying to hit players, and the Beaters use bats to defend their team or to hit the Bludgers at the opposing team. Finally, the tiny and winged Golden Snitch darts around at very high speeds and the Seeker attempts to catch it. Doing so scores 150 points and ends the game, generally winning it in the process.

B. History

It has been suggested that the name "Quidditch" is derived from the names of the balls: Quaffle, Bludger and Snitch, though, in the story world, the game is named after Queerditch Marsh, where the earliest version of the game was played in the eleventh century[HPQ].

According to the book Quidditch began as a simple broom-based game, with players passing a leather ball, the quaffle, which they attempted to place in goals at either ends of the pitch. Soon after, the Bludgers were added as charmed rocks, possibly an influence from the high-risk Scottish game Creaothceann, in which players attempted to catch falling rocks in a cauldron attached to their heads.

The addition of the Golden Snitch also derived from an earlier wizarding sport, in which wizards attempted to catch a Golden Snidget, a fast-moving magical bird. In 1269, the Chief of the Wizards Council, Barberous Bragge, unleashed a Golden Snidget offering 150 galleons (equivalent to over a million Galleons today) to the player who caught the bird. A value of 150 points was later added to the bird as a tribute to this event, though in time the Golden Snidget was replaced with an enchanted ball as the bird became endangered.

Quodpot, a variant of Quidditch, is popular in the USA and South America.

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