Quidditch is awesome! Quidditch is exciting! Quidditch is the best sport in the world! Those Bludgers flying around, trying to smash into people! The Keepers hanging from their brooms to block a 10-point shot! The Seeker making a spectacular diving catch of the Golden Snitch and scoring 150 points!
Wait, what? The Seeker scores 150 points in one go? Compared to only ten points for a goal? That’s crazy. It doesn’t make sense.
I’ve read the argument any number of times: the number of points gained from a Snitch capture is WAY too large for the game to be fair. Your Chasers can play their hearts out for hours, scoring goal after goal, and then some punk Seeker, who has been just floating overhead taking a nap the whole time, suddenly grabs that little golden ball and boom, all your goals are meaningless. You lose.
In fact, you barely need your Chasers at all. Just get yourself a really good Seeker and a couple of Beaters to protect him or her, then sit back and build up the wins. As one blogger put it, it’s like a soccer match where there’s a little chocolate bunny hidden somewhere on the field which will give you 15 points and end the game. Wouldn’t you just forget about the ball and turn the whole thing into a big bunny hunt?
Okay, so maybe it’s not a perfect game. But it’s not quite as crazy as you might think. After all, the scores do carry over from match to match. Ah, there’s the detail many people miss. The scores carry over! It’s not just wins and losses. It’s total points. That makes a lot of difference. And at Hogwarts, those points appear to be added to the House Points as well!
So hold on a minute … Harry, as a winning Seeker, has earned literally hundreds of points for Gryffindor! Maybe that explains why McGonagall took so many point away for the relatively simple infraction of being out of bed! She has to take a lot in order to make any difference, considering how many he earns.
Sorry, got off track there. The point is that all those goals do count, even if you don’t win the match. At Hogwarts, when the House point totals are only around three or four hundred for the whole year, ten points is definitely a Big Deal.
And what about the professional league?
Okay, let’s take a look at these tables from the Daily Prophet newsletters. It’s easy to see how all the points count toward League standings, not just Snitch captures, and that the points are actually pretty close:
QUIDDITCH LEAGUE TABLE & MATCH INFORMATION
1. Tutshill Tornados 750
2. Montrose Magpies 730
3. Appleby Arrows 660
4. Kenmare Kestrels 620
5. Puddlemere United 610
6. Caerphilly Catapults 590
7. Ballycastle Bats 550
8. Pride of Portree 520
9. Wigtown Wanderers 470
10. Holyhead Harpies 410
11. Falmouth Falcons 340
12. Wimbourne Wasps 290
13. Chudley Cannons 230
Saturday: Wigtown Wanderers versus Puddlemere United, midnight, Yorkshire Moors, DO NOT CHEER TOO LOUDLY, Muggles came looking for source of noise last time.
Monday: Falmouth Falcons versus Pride of Portree, eleven o’clock, Exmoor. An Invisibility Charm has been put upon new stadium. Please collect Re-Visibility Spectacles from ticket office or you will not be able to find the pitch. (DP1)
Compare that with this, which appears a few weeks later. The Cannons have played one match to a draw and won another. The score from the draw helped build up their total, even though they didn’t win. In that same time, the poor Falcons have only gained a measly twenty points. So who’s worst now?
Quidditch League Table & Match Information
1. Ballycastle Bats 820
2. Puddlemere United 790
3. Montrose Magpies 780
4. Tutshill Tornados 770
5. Kenmare Kestrels 720
7. Pride of Portree 700
8. Appleby Arrows 680
9. Caerphilly Catapults 650
8. Holyhead Harpies 620
10. Wimbourne Wasps 530
12. Chudley Cannons 490
11. Wigtown Wanderers 480
13. Falmouth Falcons 360
Friday: Tutshill Tornados vs. Wigtown Wanderers, Bodmin Moor
Saturday: Ballycastle Bats vs. Caerphilly Catapults, venue to be decided (Muggles camping on Ellis Moor. Contact Dept. of Magical Games and Sports, Ministry of Magic for details).
Monday: Kenmare Kestrels vs. Wigtown Wanderers (DP4)
So does this help make Quidditch a bit less lopsided? Is the sport’s design a little less crazy than some people would want us to believe? Do you even care as long as you can watch Bludgers crash into some poor Chaser’s head, marvel that the Cannons aren’t bottom of the list, laugh when Gwenog Jones threatens to turn the opposing team’s manager into a frog by mistake, or cheer as your rival team’s Seeker hits the ground in a poorly-executed Wronski Feint?
Yeah, that would be me.