How many balls do you need to play Quidditch?

Live in the magical world of Harry Potter would be enchanting for many reasons, starting with the fact that it would allow us to use magic and see all fantastic beasts. Another aspect that would really stand out would be the ability to watch and play Quidditch.

The game is quite complex and involves several rules, roles and balls. Flying on a broomstick, two teams of seven players each fly around a field and strive to beat the other team. How do they claim victory? By using the provided balls to score points, outrun rival players and even earn more points.

Let’s discuss the different types of balls, their number and exactly how teams score points in the game of Quidditch.

The Quaffle

In Quidditch, the only ball that cannot fly on its own is the Quaffle. The ball is about the size of a soccer ball and is, in most cases, red. Three players from each team, called Chasers, are responsible for chasing the Quaffle and hitting it through one of three hoops on either side of the Quidditch pitch. The characters who played Chaser in the Harry Potter series include Ginny Weasley, Katie Bell and Harry’s father, James Potter. If a Chaser manages to score by throwing the Quaffle into one of the opposing team’s three hoops, they score 10 points for their team.

There is also one Guardian per team and their role is to prevent the Quaffle from entering any of their team’s three hoops, preventing them from receiving the 10 points. Characters who played Keepers in the Harry Potter series are Ron Weasley, Oliver Wood and Cormac McLaggen. All of these characters played for the Gryffindor House team at Hogwarts, and interestingly, there aren’t many other popular characters who played Keeper. There is only one ball to be shared between the six chasers and the two goalkeepers, making it the main source of attention on the pitch, especially considering that Quidditch matches can go on for days .


The most aggressive of Quidditch balls, there are two bludgers in every Quidditch match. Bludgers are bewitched before entering the field, causing them to fly on their own. Their goal in any match is to knock players off their broomsticks. Colored black and iron, the hit of a bludger on a broomstick is sure to derail players and might even manage to knock them off their broom. It is the role of a Beater, two in each team, to divert the Bludgers from hitting one of their teammates and knock the Bludger towards the opposing team. To deflect the Bludger, a beater carries a short wooden bat to hit it. Hogwarts students who played Beater included Fred and George Weasley, Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe.

The Bludger was also a major plot element in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Dobby the house-elf enchanted the ball to run after Harry Potter in a Quidditch match instead of letting it go after everyone else. Although he was targeted, Harry managed to outsmart the Bludger and catch the Snitch to win the game. He did, however, land quite dangerously and broke his arm in the process. Gilderoy Lockhart attempted to repair Harry’s arm, but failed tremendously, removing all the bones instead. Fred and George struggled with the Rogue Bludger after Harry won the match, and even though it still tried to target Harry, the twins managed to force it back into its crate.

The golden snitch

The Golden Snitch is a small round ball with wings. There is only one snitch in a Quidditch match and he flies around the Quidditch pitch extremely quickly, looking like a hummingbird, his wings flapping rapidly. This ball has an extremely vital role in the game of Quidditch. If a Seeker catches the ball, it signals the end of the game and awards an additional 150 points. Only the Seeker can recover the ball, and when he does, it signals the end of the game. The snitch is the reason Quidditch games can go on for so long, because if no one catches it, the game continues. However, a Seeker snatching the Snitch does not necessarily mean their team wins, as only the team with the most points wins. Hogwarts students who played Seeker included Charlie Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Regulus Black and of course Harry Potter himself.

Of all the balls used in Quidditch, the Snitch is undoubtedly the most famous among Harry Potter fans, as it was Harry’s goal to catch him throughout his Quidditch matches at Hogwarts. Quite remarkable for a first year, Harry caught the Snitch in his very first game of Quidditch by nearly swallowing it. This becomes a major plot point in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Albus Dumbledore bequeathed that same Golden Snitch to Harry after his death. Harry was holding the Golden Snitch and Hermione Granger speculated that Dumbledore may have hidden something inside, as the Snitches react to the seeker who grabbed them by flesh memory. For this reason, each Snitch is unique and no same Snitch is used for more than one game. In fact, everyone, including the maker of the Snitch, must wear gloves so that the integrity of the memory of the flesh is not compromised.

It turns out that Dumbledore used the Snitch’s flesh memory, but Harry touched him with his mouth first. Touching the snitch to its mouth revealed the words “I open at the end.” Once Harry accepted his fate ⏤ that Voldemort needed to kill him so Harry could finally defeat him ⏤ the Golden Snitch opened to reveal the Resurrection Stone, allowing Harry to see his loved ones who had been killed for a brief period.

muggle quidditch

In 2005, clever Muggles created a Muggle-friendly version of Quidditch that we can play in real life. This version of the game has the same types of balls, except they are obviously not magical in nature and are replaced with other sports balls. For example, the Golden Snitch is a tennis ball, the Quaffle is a deflated volleyball, and the Bludgers are deflated dodgeballs. The number of balls remains the same except for an additional bludger, making the total number of balls used in this version of Quidditch five compared to the four used in the Wizarding World games.

In real-world Quidditch, the Quaffle is used similarly to wizarding games. Chasers pass it through hoops to score 10 points. Bludgers are used similarly in that any player on the opposing team hit by one of them suffers a KO effect, which is almost like a time out for the player. They must then touch their hoops before resuming play. The Golden Snitch is the original sport’s greatest diversion. The snitch, aka a tennis ball, is attached to the shorts of a runner running across the field. The Seekers then have to chase them down to tie the ball to their shorts to end the game, usually awarding their team 30 points.

Hopefully we can see another Quidditch match on the big screen when the Harry Potter spin off Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets arrive at cinemas in April.

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