Is it just us, or does Quidditch sound really, really dangerous? Never mind winning a match, here’s some pointers on how to actually last through the game…

Harry is being chased by the rogue bludger during quidditch
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

To be quite perfectly honest, if we played Quidditch and managed to complete an entire match, we wouldn’t care who won – we’d be the ones cheering with jubilation that we’re still actually alive at the end of it. After all, there are 700 fouls listed in a standard Quidditch match – not to mention two nasty Bludgers with no consciences. So how do witches and wizards actually survive a Quidditch game? Well, here’s a few ideas that might buy them a bit of time...

Be nice to the players who have the ability to bat a giant iron ball at you

‘Er – have the Bludgers ever killed anyone?’ Harry asked, hoping he sounded offhand. ‘Never at Hogwarts. We’ve had a couple of broken jaws but nothing worse than that. Now, the last member of the team is the Seeker. That’s you. And you don’t have to worry about the Quaffle or the Bludgers –’ ‘– unless they crack my head open.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

While Muggle football teams have attacking midfielders, Quidditch teams have team members who actually try to attack you. We are, of course, talking about the Beaters. Now, we’re not saying you need to make best friends with them or anything, but let’s just say you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the folks with the giant bats. As any Quidditch connoisseur will know, the Beaters’ job is to bat the bewitched Bludgers away from their own team and direct them at the other – but sometimes they have been known to use their positions to take out some of their personal frustrations.

Take the time Vincent Crabbe whacked a Bludger at Harry because he’d had the audacity to actually win the match, for example. Fred and George have also been known to take advantage of their positions – once hitting a Bludger at temporary referee, Severus Snape, just because it was Severus Snape.

Quidditch Match Gryffindor Vs Slytherin
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Don’t lust after the other players

‘HARRY, THIS IS NO TIME TO BE A GENTLEMAN!’ Wood roared, as Harry swerved to avoid a collision. ‘KNOCK HER OFF HER BROOM IF YOU HAVE TO!’
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

You know that old song, 'Love is in the Air'? Well, don’t let it be. Quidditch is an incredibly dangerous sport, and if you get distracted, you will either risk losing the match or, once again, get hit by a Bludger. (You could argue that the Bludgers are the real problem, but let’s not argue with the rules.)

Now, Harry is a chief culprit of getting lovelorn on the pitch, falling for not just Cho Chang, the Ravenclaw Seeker, but Ginny Weasley, his fellow Gryffindor team mate, during various Quidditch matches. And yes, on both occasions, Harry either got yelled at by Oliver Wood or got hit by Bludgers multiple times for checking out the ladies. Save it for the ground, Harry!

Illustration of Ginny Weasley playing Quidditch, by Jessica Roux
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros.

Don’t do any dangerous stunts if Professor Lockhart happens to be nearby

Yes, in any sport, being competitive is a given, but is winning more important than suddenly not having an arm?! Well, maybe you disagree. Harry has gone to insane lengths to secure the winning Snitch during Quidditch matches, putting himself in danger many times. In his first match, he nearly choked on the thing, for example.

Then there was the time he insisted on going for it despite some heavily pouring rain and having just been hit by a Bludger. You know how this story ends: he broke his arm, and then Professor Lockhart made it worse by actually removing the bones. On this occasion, we’ll give Harry the benefit of the doubt – how was he to know that his supposedly legit Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was actually awful? But just bear in mind that when playing Quidditch: try and stay away from morons.

Madam Pomfrey tends to Harry with Skele-Gro after Lockhart removes all the bones in Harry's arm
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Or you could just take up another hobby…

Wait, why are we even suggesting playing Quidditch in the first place when we could all be at home reading magazines about knitting patterns?! You don’t get safer than that – and not a Bludger in sight. Problem solved!

(Just be careful around those knitting needles now, won’t you?)

Get the Quidditch Through the Ages audiobook, narrated by Andrew Lincoln