"It's not over yet. We lost by a hundred points, right? So if Hufflepuff loses to Ravenclaw and we beat Ravenclaw and Slytherin..."
"Hufflepuff'll have to lose by at least two hundred points."
"But if they beat Ravenclaw..."
"No way. Ravenclaw is too good. But if Slytherin loses against Hufflepuff..." (PA9)
Quidditch is big at Hogwarts. Each House fields a team, which includes the seven players and often one or two reserve players as well. The four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry compete to win the Quidditch Cup, a great honour. The team which accumulates the most points over the course of the school year is awarded the Cup. The house teams are:
The teams have a team captain who not only plays but also acts as coach. The captain leads practices, devises strategies, and sees to the induction of new players into the team.
Quidditch tryouts are typically during the second week of the school year, although the exact day and time are up to the captain to determine; students who wish to play for their Houses are asked to talk to Madam Hooch.
The Quidditch season at Hogwarts starts in October, with the first games early in November.
Madam Hooch is the resident Quidditch expert. The Bludgers, Quaffles, and Snitch are stored securely in her office between games and she acts as referee for the matches. Team practices are scheduled by individual captains (they "book the field" to reserve it for their own team to practice.) Most teams practice almost every day, after school or in the evenings.
The matches themselves are well attended by almost everyone in the school. Until he left school, the commentary was provided by Lee Jordan, a Gryffindor boy who occasionally found it difficult to remain objective when Gryffindor was playing.
The raised stands can hold hundreds of fans, and it would seem that the matches are sometimes attended by Quidditch fans from the surrounding area as well. After Lee left, commentary was provided by Zacharias Smith and Luna Lovegood.
Each year, the various House teams play each other once. This results in six games of Quidditch:
- Gryffindor v. Slytherin
The first match of the year, normally held in November (PS, CS, PA, OP), but moved to the end of the season in PA (see below).
- Hufflepuff v. Ravenclaw
Held at the end of November (PA10).
- Ravenclaw v. Slytherin
- Gryffindor v. Hufflepuff
Normally held shortly after St. Valentine's Day (CS14, OP26).
- Hufflepuff v. Slytherin
Early May (OP30).
- Gryffindor v. Ravenclaw
The last match of the season, held in late May, usually before final exams (PS17, OP30)
In Prisoner of Azkaban, Slytherin requested a change in schedule on the basis of Draco Malfoy's injuries, so the usual playing order was not followed, with all Gryffindor's other matches moving up one time slot and Gryffindor - Slytherin moving to the end of the schedule.
On the normal schedule shown above, the games are grouped into three pairs, such that for each pair of games, all four teams play, with no team playing two matches back-to-back without a break. The Christmas break falls between Hufflepuff's first two matches, and the Easter break falls between Slytherin's last two.
Thoughts on Quidditch at Hogwarts - essay by Patrick Drazen
Each House has fourteen players, second-year and up (an exception being made in Harry Potter's case). Quidditch being such a physical contact sport, players tend to suffer everything from bumps and bruises to broken bones. Hence, there is a necessity for a Reserve squad to step in if a player becomes incapacitated. Otherwise, the team would have to forfeit the match. There is also a need for a healer at Hogwarts, where Madam Poppy Pomfrey runs the Hospital Wing.
Of course, if the students had their way, there would probably be Quidditch every other weekend, and a colossal amount of skiving-off of homework and studying.