We seem to be in broad agreement on the question of "is Quidditch an inherently flawed sport?" (spoiler alert, yes)

Magic or not, the rules of logic, mathematics and economics apply. You don't need to have taken game theory in order to understand that, as pointed out:

  • The length of a game is difficult or impossible to predict. Games can stretch for days, or be over in seconds. This makes it difficult to gauge the value of a seat. Is someone going to feel cheated if they pay 15 Galleons for a box seat, only to have the match over within twenty minutes? Will you make a profit if you sell seats at 8 Sickles each and they're occupied for a day and a half? How many spectators will be willing to travel to your game (albeit quickly, via teleportation) and potentially have to choose between seeing the full game and missing the next day's work (or the next several days' work?)

  • There are no scheduled breaks in the game. Even when they're not exerting much physical effort to move (flying on broomsticks) playing any sport will tire you out. Spectators need time to hit the bathrooms and food vendors, players need time to regroup, take a breather, and plan strategy changes.

Is it really the case that no-one in the Harry Potter universe since the beginning of time has ever thought Quidditch to be inherently flawed? Not even Hermione?

  • Is there reason to suppose that they haven’t? We know that there are alternative magical sports.
    – Adamant
    Oct 31, 2016 at 0:42
  • 2
    It’s perhaps worth noting that there are sports which last what might seem an unusually long time, such as cricket. Sure, cricket has breaks, but while there may be no scheduled breaks in Quidditch, I don’t believe there’s anything preventing the teams from agreeing on a break.
    – Adamant
    Oct 31, 2016 at 0:43
  • Hermione isn't very interested in Quidditch. Maybe that's why she didn't see a flaw in it, or rather, never mentioned seeing one.
    – Pwassonne
    Oct 31, 2016 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


The variability of match length (e.g. as opposed to the cost of tickets) has been addressed in canon

The game of Quidditch continues to thrill and obsess its many fans around the world. Nowadays every purchaser of a Quidditch match ticket is guaranteed to witness a sophisticated contest between highly skilled fliers (unless of course the Snitch is caught in the first five minutes of the match, in which case we all feel slightly short-changed).

Quidditch Through the Ages

Generally speaking, that a match might extend into multiple days is (apparently) seen as a good thing.

Two teams have recently broken through at international level: the Sweetwater All-Stars from Texas, who gained a well-deserved win over the Quiberon Quafflepunchers in 1993 after a thrilling five-day match,


The Harpies’ defeat of the Heidelberg Harriers in 1953 is widely agreed to have been one of the finest Quidditch games ever seen. Fought over a seven-day period, the game was brought to an end by a spectacular Snitch capture by the Harpy Seeker Glynnis Griffiths.


Arrows fans will agree that their team’s most glorious hour was their 1932 defeat of the team who were then the European champions, the Vratsa Vultures, in a match that lasted sixteen days in conditions of dense fog and rain.

Quidditch Through the Ages

The need to take periodic breaks for players to regroup, go to the toilet, eat, catnap, etc. has been accomodated for.

The Captain of a team may call for ‘time out’ by signalling to the referee. This is the only time players’ feet are allowed to touch the ground during a match. Time out may be extended to a two-hour period if a game has lasted more than twelve hours. Failure to return to the pitch after two hours leads to the team’s disqualification.

Quidditch Through the Ages

(presumably spectators will use these time outs in much the same way if they want to avoid missing anything good).

  • There was cut speech from Dumbledore in the first book addressing the concerns of quidditch,
    – ibid
    Oct 31, 2016 at 3:37
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    "Time out may be extended to a two-hour period if a game has lasted more than twelve hours." 2 hours every 12 hours? that's a short break...
    – njzk2
    Oct 31, 2016 at 18:14
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    @njzk2 - That's the longest you can have a whole-team timeout. Evidently you can do substitutes as well so you might have people sleeping in shifts.
    – Valorum
    Oct 31, 2016 at 18:49
  • (1.5 years later) Thanks Valorum! Well this does address the two points, but what about the other inherent flaws?
    – BCLC
    Mar 19, 2018 at 9:33

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