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I don't recall it being mentioned in any of the books, but could the Seeker in Quidditch switch to being a Chaser if needed?

I always thought it was odd that catching the Snitch would net your team 150 points but end the game no matter what. It seemed to me that the seeker would be a more valuable player if they could net their team 150 points but not end the game if they were behind. However, the rules clearly state that catching the Snitch ends the game, regardless of how many points the Seeker's team has.

Is it mentioned anywhere whether it is specifically prohibited for a Seeker to help the Chasers score points so that when their team is behind by more than 150 points they aren't essentially useless? Or would the Seeker just try to distract the other team's Seeker at this point?

15

In Quidditch Through the Ages, it is said:

However, a fast Keeper may be able to score a goal and then return to his baskets in time to prevent the other team equalising.

That's as much (that I've found) that's explicitly stated, but since the keeper can score, it's likely that a seeker or beater could as well. As for whether someone else could catch the snitch:

A game of Quidditch ends only when the Golden Snitch has been caught, or by mutual consent of the two team Captains.

It seems the rules don't say anything about who has to catch the snitch, it's just in a team's best interest to have a seeker searching for it full-time.

And, somewhat of a sidenote but I looked it up so I'll add it, in the sixth book, when Harry is in detention with Snape for using sectumsempra on Malfoy, Ginny replaces Harry as seeker:

And while he copied out all their various offenses and punishments, he wondered what was going on outside, where the match would have just started... Ginny playing Seeker against Cho...

(HBP, ch.24)

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    +1 for finding you copy of QTTA faster than me :) Excellent answer! – DVK-on-Ahch-To Feb 1 '12 at 6:11
  • Good post! I would argue that it's not necessarily in the team's best interest to have the seeker searching for the snitch full-time for the reason I give in my original post. If you're down by more than 150 points if your team wants to win then you would be better off with your seeker helping the chasers or just distracting the other seeker if that is allowed. – Dason Feb 2 '12 at 19:06
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    I think you're partially wrong, namely saying It seems the rules don't say anything about who has to catch the snitch - The Wikipedia entry on Quidditch lists a foul: Snitchnip: No player other than the Seeker may touch or catch the Golden Snitch. That's of course a reference from Quidditch Through the Ages. I see nothing that would prevent the seeker from touching the Quaffle though. Oh, I've also just noted @Aaron's answer which seems to agree. – Bartek Banachewicz Oct 12 '15 at 11:22
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No, there's nothing in the rules that says the chasers were prohibited from doing other stuff.

However, as an old sign on a Texas highway was reputed to state, "If you're driving a car with one hand and hugging a girl with the other, you ain't doing either thing well".

While you're out playing with Quaffles, there's a major risk that the opponent's Seeker will find the Snitch and catch it.

And obviously, not having a bat, a Seeker can't do a very good Beater's job (though, when Dobby enchanted a Bludger to go after Harry in CoS, Harry basically ended up telling Weasley twins to stop worrying about the bad Bludger and he will deal with it WHILE looking for Snitch).

  • Of course what Harry had in mind was that he'll try to dodge it. Whether taking this one Bludger off his team was "doing Beater's job" is debatable. – Bartek Banachewicz Oct 12 '15 at 11:25
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From Wikipedia:

Finally, the Seeker, usually the lightest member of the team and equipped with the fastest broom, is tasked for searching for and capturing The Golden Snitch. Seekers are the only players permitted to touch the Snitch. The seekers, like Harry Potter, are usually small, agile, and stealthy.

I can't say anything about the other positions filling in other roles though

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