Welcome Visitor:

Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone

I like this film. It's drawn many comparisons, some negative, to the works of Tolkien. I enjoy both in different ways, and I never felt that the Potter books or films were in any way inferior to the earlier works by Tolkien or Jackson's films; they are just different.

However, one minor point about the Potter universe always bothered me out of all proportion to its importance: Quidditch.

Quidditch games end when the Seeker (each team has one) captures the Golden Snitch, which is worth 150 points. Everyone who talks about the game more or less admits that capturing the Snitch wins the game for your team.

Even so, all the other players on each team-- two beaters, three chasers, and the goalkeeper-- are involved in the mechanics of the other two kinds of balls, the quaffle which is used to score 10 points for each goal in one of three hoops, and the blodgers, balls used to attack and disable other players.

During the Quidditch match sequence in the first Potter film, the majority of the action centers around these minor scores.

But in reality, no coach of any Quidditch team would allow his players to waste their time. All of them would be concentrating on assisting their own Seeker and hindering the opposing seeker, in order to end the game quickly. In order for a team to win without catching the snitch, they would have to build a 15 score advantage over the opposing team, and then somehow force that team to catch the snitch. A team that had fallen behind by that large a margin would never even attempt to catch the snitch-- they'd be focusing on closing the gap before they did so.

The only conceivable reason to even bother scoring points with the quaffle were if the margin of victory figured into season standings. But a team would have to be terribly overconfident to assume that it could build up margin points at the beginning of the game, while trying NOT to end the game by catching the snitch. While they are trying to score quaffle points, they could get as many as fourteen scores and still lose the game, making margin of victory calculations pointless. The only strategy that makes sense in Quidditch as described is to go for a snitch capture as early as possible, which means abandoning the roles of chasers and beaters as portrayed.

It would have made much more sense for the snitch to be worth more points than a quaffle score, but not fifteen times as much, and for games to be timed, rather than ending after the first snitch score.