"….modification of any part of the referee’s body, whether or not he or she has requested such modification, will lead to a lifetime ban from the tournament and possibly imprisonment."
-- The History of the Quidditch World Cup (Pm)
The referee is in charge of making sure that Quidditch games are played fairly and safely.
Madam Hooch, who teaches students to fly, usually referees the games played at Hogwarts School (PS11, CS10, CS14, PA9, PA13, PA15, OP19, HBP14, HBP19). However in one game during Harry Potter’s first year, Professor Snape substituted for her (and was prevented from being partisan by the presence of Professor Dumbledore in the crowd) (PS13).
The job of professional referee can be very dangerous.
- In the book Quidditch Through the Ages, Kennilworthy Whisp says that it “was once a task for only the bravest witches and wizards” (QA6).
- The only referee known to have died during a game was Cyprian Youdle from Norfolk, during a local friendly in 1357 (QA6).
- Matches between the Thundelarra Thunderers and the Woollongong Warriors in Australia are known to be extremely tricky and have led to local wizards referring to something unlikely to happen as “Yeah, and I think I’ll volunteer to ref the next Thunderer-Warrior game” (QA8).
- Turning the referee’s broom into a Portkey was a popular match tactic until the Department of Magical Games and Sports issued strict security guidelines. Multiple referees have been found in the Sahara long after a match is over (PS11, QA6).
- The referee Nugent Potts received a stray arrow through his nose during an Appleby Arrows match in 1894. The fans were then banned from shooting arrows into the air every time their team scored (QA7).
- Prior to the Quidditch World Cup match in 1809, known as “The Attack of the Killer Forest“, a teammate of Niko Nenad’s on the Romanian National Team had to keep him from strangling two referees (Pm).
Other referee facts:
- Because they are constantly monitoring fourteen Quidditch players on the pitch simultaneously, neck strain is the is the most common injury suffered by referees (QA6).
- Perimeter officials assist referees during matches to ensure the players stay within the confines of the pitch (QA8).
- Referees are tested and have their flying skills examined by the Department of Magical Games and Sports. They are rigorously assessed to ensure they will not curse players who annoy them (QA6).
- Referees for Quidditch World Cup games are chosen by the International Confederation of Wizards Quidditch Committee (ICWQC) (Pm).
- Leopoldina Smethwyck was the first British witch to referee a Quidditch match (FW).
It is not a job for the shy or faint-hearted....
Although the dates printed on the Daily Prophet Newsletters are:
the timeframe for these events is 1992-1993.
From the Web
Writing by J.K. Rowling on Pottermore:
- History of the Quidditch World Cup
- 2014 Quidditch World Cup reports
- 2014 Quidditch World Cup final
- The Daily Prophet
Pottermore enhanced reading experience: Quidditch World Cup
Screenshots of the original Daily Prophet coverage of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup on Pottermore: Imgur archive