"….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 (QWC)


The Referee is in charge of making sure that Quidditch games are played fairly and safely.

Referees at Hogwarts

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 the Headteacher, Professor Dumbledore in the crowd) (PS13).

Professional referees

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. Their fans were then banned from shooting arrows into the air every time their team scored (QA7).

Leopoldina Smethwyck (1829-1910) was the first British witch to referee a Quidditch match (FW).

Referee Josiah Plunkett had to deal with the Seekers jinxing each other at the end of an Appleby Arrows vs. Pride of Portree match – Dougal McBride claimed he was hit with a curse, so he retaliated by transfiguring Gregory Cotton’s head (DP3). Plunkett was also in charge when Chaser Wilda Griffiths disappeared during Holyhead Harpies vs. Puddlemere United “grudge” match, leading to a riot between their fans (DP4).

International referees

After the disaster at the 1809 Quidditch World Cup final between Romania and New Spain, it emerged that Romania’s Niko Nenad had previously been prevented from strangling two referees and other demented actions (QWC).

Hassan Mostafa (referee and Chairwizard of the International Association of Quidditch) became so entranced by the Bulgarian team’s veela mascots during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup final, he had to be forcibly brought back to his senses (GF8).

Incidents during the Quidditch World Cup 2014 tournament (QWC):

Other referee facts

Early Quidditch match referees were known as the “Quijudge” (QA6).

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) (QWC).



It is definitely not a job for the shy or faint-hearted....

Related images:

   Madam Hooch.      This picture shows a quidditch match.

Although the dates printed on the Daily Prophet Newsletters are:

  • DP3: 1 June 1999 and
  • DP4: 1 October 1999,

the timeframe for these events is 1992-1993.

Lexicon timeline of Quidditch

Lexicon list of Referees

From the Web

Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld.com (Pottermore): The Daily Prophet

Writing by J K Rowling on Imgur (Daily Prophet coverage of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, originally from Pottermore):

Harry Potter Wiki: Quidditch referee

WizardingWorld.com (Pottermore) features:

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: brooms / broomsticks competitions/competitors dangerous fairness fouls match penalties Quidditch history safety sports