Games, sports, and diversions
"That's chess! You've got to make some sacrifices! I take
one step forward and she'll take me -- that leaves you free to
checkmate the king, Harry!"
-- Ron Weasley
Games & Sports
One of the most fabled sporting events in the
wizarding world is the
Triwizard Tournament. This famous contest was
held recently at Hogwarts.
Most of the wizarding world is mad about
Quidditch. This sport is played on
broomsticks and is attended by thousands of fans
every week. [more]
Winged horse racing
Laurentia Fletwock is a celebrated breeder and racer. (JKR)
A card game involving
that explode; this game is commonly played by
students at Hogwarts.
One of the good things about Gryffindor Tower
being nearly empty over the Christmas holidays is that students who do
stay can play Exploding Snap as loudly as they like without bothering anybody
It's also played to pass the time over the holidays at the
and occasionally in class to annoy a teacher
The twins challenged
Harry to a game of
on the night they were trying to sneak out to follow the spiders, which
was why they had to leave it until so late at night (they didn't let on
what they were up to)
Played to pass the time on the
(more commonly at the end of the year than at the beginning)
Harry to a game one
when they were both barred from going into the village, but
Harry turned him down
Hagrid once played an unidentified game
of cards at the Hogs Head
and won a dragon egg
self-shuffling playing cards
Gobstones is a game involving stones played something like marbles, in which
the stones spit disgusting liquid at the opposing player when they lose a
point. There are Gobstone clubs at Hogwarts
(OP17) and also an
International Gobstones League
(DP) Many of the kids at
Hogwarts have a set of Gobstones and it's played fairly regularly
GF20). Harry was tempted to buy
a solid gold set in Diagon Alley
(PA4). The offices of the
Official Gobstones Club are in the
Department of Games and Sports
on level seven of the Ministry of Magic
In wizard chess, the pieces are animated and fight for each square on the
board under the command of the players.
Ron also started teaching
Harry wizard chess. This was exactly like
Muggle chess except that the figures were alive, which made it a lot like
directing troops in battle. Ron's set was
very old and battered. Like everything else he owned, it had once belonged to
someone else in his family -- in this case, his grandfather.
However, old chessmen weren't a drawback at all.
Ron knew them so well he never had trouble
getting them to do what he wanted.
Individual pieces have distinct personalities.
Some are more vicious than others.
Harry played with chessmen
Seamus Finnegan had lent him, and
they didn't trust him at all. He wasn't a very good player yet and they kept
shouting different bits of advice at him, which was confusing. "Don't
send me there, can't you see his knight? Send him, we can afford to lose
Crookshanks finds wizard chess
fascinating to watch. Well, not just to watch; he loves to upset the board
with all its moving pieces.
Harry received a new wizard chess set for
Christmas in his first year, apparently as a prize from a wizard cracker
Hermione loses at chess, which
Harry consider to be very good for her
Duelling exists as a sport in the same way that fencing is a sport in the
Muggle world. While it is a friendly sporting
competition, it is essentially a form of combat. Wizard duelling has rules
and competitions, but in a battle, the same skills come into play in life or
death struggles. Dumbledore allowed
Lockhart to start a
Duelling Club at Hogwarts during the
1992-1993 [Y12 - Y13]
school year, perhaps in part because he saw trouble coming in the
wizarding world and therefore the need for
training students in the art of battle.
Lockhart taught the formalities of
duelling: bowing, holding the wand in a certain way, and flourishing the
wand in the attack.
Harry found himself, two years later,
facing Voldemort in a desperate duel
to the death. Voldemort used the
Imperius Curse to force
Harry to bow and obey the other niceties
of duelling. Harry, who had learned to
resist the Imperius Curse,
used the moment to duck for cover. The following year,
Harry began teaching duelling techniques
as part of his Defence Against the Dark Arts
study group, the DA. He was so successful
that some of the students he'd taught fought well against experienced
Death Eaters in the
Battle of the Department of Mysteries.
Some of them used those same duelling skills against
Goyle aboard the
Hogwarts Express on the way
home from Hogwarts (June
Professor Flitwick is rumored to
be a champion duellist. It is unknown if this is true and if it is, whether
he is a champion of some particular competition. As long ago as 1430 there
was an All-England Dueling Competition. Back then, the contest was won
by Alberta Toothill who upset the favored Samson Wiblin with a
During the fall of
[Y15], the Ministry
was trying to get other countries to sign an International Ban on Dueling.
Percy in particular was working to get
the Transylvanians on board
It is uncertain if this type of duelling is the same as the sport variety
or if it refers to the more lethal "pistols at dawn" variety of duel.
For more detailed information on these sports, please purchase a copy of
Quidditch Through the Ages.
Proceeds go to a very good cause.
- Played on broomsticks, using a ball called a
Dom and a series of flaming hoops.(QA2)
annual broom race of Sweden (QA2)
Creaothceann (Scotland) - Popular in the Middle Ages, probably the most dangerous of all broom games. Involved trying to catch hundreds of falling rocks and bludgers in cauldrons causing a huge number of fatalities, banned in 1762
Quodpot (USA) - an American variant of Quidditch invented by Abraham Peasegood. Has eleven players per side and an exploding ball called the Quod. (QA)
Shuntbumps- popular in Devon, England. Similar to jousting, the goal to knock other players from their brooms. (Survives only as a children's game)
Stichstock (Germany) -
Ancient game that used an inflated dragon's bladder
atop a 20 foot high pole. (QA2)
Swivenhodge - began in Herefordshire involves hitting an inflated pig's bladder backwards and forwards across a hedge with brooms. Still played today.(QA)
Headless Hunt sports
Horseback Head Juggling (CS8)
Head Polo (CS8)
entertainment and hobbies
tricks, gags, jokes, and equipment
Quidditch Supplies (Diagon Alley)