In the Harry Potter books, how many Quidditch teams are there in Britain (professional ones - where players get paid for playing)?
UPDATE 2: Wikia for British and Irish Quidditch League states that there are 13:
The British and Irish Quidditch League was established in 1674. Due to the need to maintain anti-Muggle security, the professional League was formed of the thirteen best teams at the time, and all others were asked to disband.
This is sourced from Quidditch Through the Ages
UPDATE: Actually, at least 12
Wikia (citing Daily Prophet Newsletters) states that "On October 1st the Chudley Cannons were in eleventh place in the League". Same source indicates that they were actually above Falmouth Falcons team in the league, who must have been then at least 12th
Seems to be at least 9.
"The Chudley Cannons," said Ron, pointing at the orange bedspread, which was emblazoned with two giant black C's and a speeding cannonball. "Ninth in the league." - Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets, Ch 3
According to Quidditch Through the Ages:
"While amateur games are permitted as long as the appropriate guidelines are followed, professional Quidditch teams have been limited in number since 1674 when the League was established. At that time, the thirteen best Quidditch teams in Britain were selected to join the League and all others were asked to disband. The thirteen teams continue to compete each year for the League cup.
Quidditch Through the Ages - pages 31-32 - US Edition
The thirteen British Quidditch teams are:
- Appleby Arrows (Northern England)
- Ballycastle Bats (Northern Ireland)
- Caerphilly Catapults (Wales)
- Chudley Cannons
- Falmouth Falcons
- Holyhead Harpies (Wales)
- Kenmare Kestrels (Ireland)
- Montrose Magpies
- Pride of Portree (Isle of Skye - Scotland)
- Puddlemere United
- Tutshill Tornadoes (England)
- Wigtown Wanderers
- Wimbourne Wasps
So there are thirteen professional Quidditch teams in Potterverse. As "Britain" refers to the United Kingdom, which includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, I'm guessing technically the Kenmare Kestrels perhaps should not be counted as a British team, as they are Irish (as opposed to Northern Irish). That would technically make twelve British teams.
But JKR says there are thirteen!
ETA: Definition of what constitutes Britain. From the Wiki:
Although the United Kingdom, as a sovereign state, is a country, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland [all considered part of the UK] are also referred to as countries, whether or not they are sovereign states or have devolved or other self-government. The British Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom. With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice often revealing one's political preferences." Other terms used for Northern Ireland include "region" and "province".
The United Kingdom is often referred to as Britain. British government sources frequently use the term as a short form for the United Kingdom, whilst media style guides generally allow its use but point out that the longer term Great Britain refers only to England, Scotland and Wales.
Both definitions exclude Ireland and the latter excludes Northern Ireland.