Harry Potter question

I was watching the 1st Harry Potter movie with my daughter and something just didn’t make sense to me;

In the game quintech (???), if the person who catches the golden snitch (???) wins the game, why are there so many other players in the game?

It seems to me the efforts of all the other players is irrelevant to the outcome of the game. Is there more to this than I am understanding?

It’s Quidditch, and most of the time the golden snitch never gets caught. Catching it does win the game, but in most games it’s the mundane soccer-style scoring that prevails.

Catching the Golden Snitch ends the game, but doesn’t necessarily determine the winner. Each goal is worth 10 points. The team that catches it gets 150 points, so it’s possible to catch the Golden Snitch and still lose the game. If you’re behind by more than 150, it doesn’t make sense to try to catch the Golden Snitch.

My understanding (having only read one book) is that the game doesn’t end until the GS is caught, which is why games can last a very long time.

No - the game is never over until someone catches the snitch - there was a comment in the fourth book about a game that went on for a month, and they had to keep bringing in replacement players. The other players are there…well, I suppose it’s to make the game more exciting. Having the snitch doesn’t insure the team that catches it wins. Again, in the fourth book they have the Quiddich world cup, and the losing team actually got the snitch - but the other side had enough points so that the 150 from the snitch didn’t matter.
I did not pull out any of the books to check facts, so I could be wrong on which book some things are in.

It seems then that all the players (except the ‘seekers’) are just trying to avoid a point deficit of 150 pts. So long as they they do not fall behind in a game more than 150 pts., the winner is decided by the team who captures the golden snitch.

I guess the whole concept of the game seems too over-done. I know it’s just a ficticious game but I think rules should have been thought through a little better. Maybe making the goal points (or whatever their called) worth 25 pts instead of 10 and having 2 or 4 different periods in the game, with the capture of the golden snitch ending each period rather than the entire game. That would make the performance of the other players (besides the seeker) seem more important and make the game seem more like a team rather than a personal event.

:sigh: I knew I shouldn’t answered that from memory. I could have sworn that there was a time limit. The rest of the post followed from that.

In any event, the game is structured the way it is because (a) J. K. Rowling needed a heroic athletic role for a skinny weakling and (b) she probably never played sports.

The other players (aside from the goalie) are also there to help protect the seeker (and harass the opponent’s seeker), who is, by nature, smaller.

Whatchu talkin bout fool…e’ry one knows i’m the best seeker ever

Gary coleman on a broomstick

I think I am going to die now

The game never made any sense to me. If you are behind by 15 goals (which is what 150 points means; I don’t know why they don’t just count goals) you cannot be trying to catch the GS (although you might try to stop the other team from doing it, hoping your team might catch up) and if you are that far behind, the other team is likely much better than you and you are not going to catch up. It would be far better if the game were timed and catching the GS was a relatively rare occurrence that actually ended the game in favor of the team that caught it, regardless of the score. Not the kind of game I like, but at least it makes sense. Kind of like turning the Battle of Hastings around by killing Harold.

[Harry Potter Moment]

The other night, I was helping my six-year-old get dressed after taking a bath, and all of a sudden she said (in a near-perfect accent) “Ohhhh, Master give Dobby a sock! Dobby is free!”. It was just so cute and spontaneous, I laughed for hours.

[/Harry Potter Moment]

If there weren’t other players with other objectives, all you’d have is either (a) two players chasing a tiny, winged ball around the field; or (b) two players being repeatedly bludgeoned by the opposing team. I see the other players as essential to the confusion that permits the seekers to concentrate on the snitch.

And don’t forget that it’s not just about catching the snitch, it’s about finding it as well. They release the snitch at the start of play, but it can take a long time for the snitch to re-appear near enough for a seeker to see it. So part of the point of having other players and other chances to score (i.e. goals) is to sort of have something to do while you’re waiting for the snitch to show itself.

Well, what the seeker can also do is help prevent the other seeker from catching it, so their team can make back the points, and THEN catch the snitch, loetting them win.

I think it’s a marvellously simple set of rules, and quite complete. It’d be actionable in real life, if we could fly and have magic thinking flying winged balls.

In addition to the fact that a game can be won with quaffle-scores alone, it should also be remembered that the winner of the season Quidditch cup is the team with the most points for the season, not the most game wins. In theory, it is possible for a team to lose every one of its games, never catch the snitch, and still end up with the cup.

I may be wrong because I am too lazy to try to look it up but my reocollection is that the game never made sense because whoever got the snitch won the game automatically. I will try to have my daughter, who is now re-rereading the series find the cite for me.


It never really made any sense to me either. However, in GOF there is a match that very clearly makes the point.

Going on memory here, but it’s close enough.
World Cup in Quiddich, Ireland vs Hungary. Ireland are wiping the floor with them (of course). Ireland lead by more than 150 points, which is a hell of a lead. The Hungarian keeper sees the snitch, and chooses to end the game by catching it. Not even the 150 points from the snitch can make up the difference in scores so they loose, but as the commentator says “they loose on their terms”. He could have continued playing, not catching the snitch, and seeing to it that the other teams seeker didn’t catch it either, but he felt that there was no way they were going to win, the team as a whole were outclassed. There do however seem to be “cred points” for the catching of the snitch, so he was still considered a hero and a great player, despite the fact that they lost.

I always thought the 150 points for the snitch was a bit much, too – making the rest of the stuff not so important. Perhaps it would be more interesting if catching the snitch were worth only, say, 50 points. That way, you would only try for it if you were winning, OR if you were less than 5 goals behind. Otherwise, you’d have to play more defense (on the snitch) and more offense (on the quaffle).

I think perhaps the OP’s confusion may come from the movie. In the movie, when Wood is explaining the rules to Harry, he says (about the snitch), “You catch this, and we win.”

Well, not always.

But in the book, it’s clear (that it ends the game and results in 150 points).

You ever play tennis? Points in tennis are … strange. The real Hari would know this.