A round red seamless leather ball, 12 inches in diameter – that is, about the size of a Muggle football – one of the four balls used in playing the game of Quidditch.

  • The Quaffle is the ball with which Chasers score goals, and due to the nature of the game must be caught and thrown one-handed, since the player must at the same time control his or her broomstick (PS10, QA3, QA6).
  • The design of the modern Quaffle dates back to the first half of the eighteenth century. Originally Quaffles were not enchanted objects, but were ordinary leather balls, sometimes with finger holes or straps (QA6). The first known Quaffle was described by Gertie Keddle of Queerditch Marsh, after one landed in her cabbages during a nearby game (QA3).
  • The red colour of the Quaffle was first applied in the winter of 1711 to make it easier to see when dropped to the ground. Ironically, soon afterward the modern Quaffle - technically named the Pennifold Quaffle after its inventor - was developed, making the colour change unnecessary: Daisy Pennifold had the idea of bewitching a Quaffle to slow its fall through air to about the speed of falling through water, so that Chasers had a better chance of catching the ball in mid-air rather than continually retrieving it from the ground (QA6).
  • In 1875, Gripping Charms were discovered, and afterward applied to the standard Quaffle to make it possible for a player to keep a one-handed grip on the ball (QA6).


Notes and interesting facts:

  • It is against the rules for Quidditch players to attack the opposing Keeper unless the Quaffle is inside the scoring area. Gryffindor were awarded a penalty during the Gryffindor v Slytherin game after Slytherin Beaters Bole and Derrick fouled Oliver Wood doing just that (PA15).
  • A Chudley Cannons Chaser, Dragomir Gorgovitch, holds the record for having made the most Quaffle drops during a Quidditch season (DH7).
  • An Irish team from Cork playing in Lancashire against a local team in 1385 was chased out of town for knowing how to do new "tricks with the Quaffle" that had never been seen before (QA8).


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Tags: balls competitions/competitors floating goals red round score throwing

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