# Determining Quidditch Standings

According to the Harry Potter Lexicon, each of the four houses play each other for a total of six games throughout the school year. One thing that’s bothered me is how rankings and finally the Quidditch Cup is determined at Hogwarts. The first thought would be the team with the best win-loss record (hopefully 3-0) but this quote disproves that theory:

So the points are involved as well. So is it record first and in case of a tie, which team has the most number of points? Or does things like “We beat Slytherin and Slytherin beat Hufflepuff” figure in to it? Just how is the Quidditch Cup determined?

I got the impression from a previous book that it was based on a tally of all the points you scored in your three games.

But I also get the impression that perhaps Rowling just makes it up as she goes along.

This site seems to insist that each year’s schedule is the same, and also questions the importance of points.

Food for thought: this year’s NCAA I-AA football tournament featured two teams. Colgate was 15-0 going in; Delaware was 14-1, but won. The end result was that Delaware and Colgate (the two best teams) had the same record (15-1) but because Delaware beat Colgate in the championship game, they were the champions.

Is it possible then, that a 2-0 Ravenclaw team could be defeated by a 1-1 Gryffindor team, giving Gryffindor the cup? Imagine the following season:

G beats S (1-0, 0-1)
R beats H (1-0, 0-1)
R beats S (2-0, 0-2)
H beats G (1-1, 1-1)
S vs. H (If S wins, both are 1-2; otherwise, S is 0-3 and H is 2-1!)
G beats R (2-1, 2-1)

If Hufflepuff beats Slytherin, then everyone is 2-1 except Slytherin. Furthermore, each 2-1 team has two victories: Slytherin, and one of the other 2-1 teams; each 2-1 team’s loss is to another 2-1 team! The cyclical nature of this (pretty believable) tournament bracket means that points would almost certainly be used to break a tie. Only if one team has a 3-0 season would this be irrelevant.

A side note: this means that Slytherin could intentionally grab the Golden Snitch at a calculated moment in their Hufflepuff game, intentionally losing by a margin calculated to make a Gryffindor Quidditch Title win impossible unless they beat Ravenclaw by (for example) 300 points. Those jerks!

It’s standard practice in many European sports leagues that point differential is used to break ties in standings. This would strike most North Americans as unusual, since in our sports leagues it’s almost never used; our leagues use other tiebreaker methods (point different is theoretically a possible tiebreaker in the NFL but is rarely invoked, as other stuff counts first.) I would assume that Rowling is used to European methods.

I thought it quite clear, in the case monstre refers to, that they’re hoping to end the year tied with Hufflepuff in the standings but would need Hufflepuff to lose by a ridiculous margin for them to win on point differential.

Of course, if they have TWO games remaining, I don’t see why they’re panicking; it weould be easy to win two games by a net of more than 200 points, given the sport’s absurd scoring rules.