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So the rules of Quidditch state that matches do not end until the Snitch is caught. My question is that during a school year when the students are competing against each other, does that rule still apply? It wouldn't seem smart or reasonable for the students to miss classes because neither team caught the Snitch.

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    Some students in the real world miss classes because of sports too.
    – b_jonas
    Aug 27, 2017 at 3:16
  • According to the rules in the wiki, "Time out" may be called at any time by the Captain of a team. Time out may be extended to two hours if a game has already lasted for more than twelve hours. Failure to return to the pitch after this time will lead to the team being disqualified. So, even if they can delay the end of the match, they can't go outside the stadium
    – Kepotx
    Aug 27, 2017 at 6:26
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    There's no evidence of an actual time limit, though the question poses a very good point. I think the only counterpoint is that Hogwarts is not hugely into the various rules and regulations that currently hold most of education by the throat. As a former teacher, I always imagine that JKR rather revelled in this mad freedom that Hogwarts has.
    – ThruGog
    Aug 27, 2017 at 10:26

3 Answers 3

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The game only stops when the Snitch is caught. That's the only way to end the game.

As is stated in book one:

"This," said Wood, "is the Golden Snitch, and it's the most important ball of the lot. It's very hard to catch because it's so fast and difficult to see. It's the Seeker's job to catch it. You've got to weave in and out of the Chasers, Beaters, Bludgers, and Quaffle to get it before the other team's Seeker, because whichever Seeker catches the Snitch wins his team an extra hundred and fifty points, so they nearly always win. That's why Seekers get fouled so much. A game of Quidditch only ends when the Snitch is caught, so it can go on for ages -- I think the record is three months, they had to keep bringing on substitutes so the players could get some sleep. "Well, that's it -- any questions?"

So nope, there's no time limit.

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  • I think this is the right answer but you could go into more detail about why you think the rules Wood is describing also applied to Hogwarts matches. Aug 30, 2017 at 8:26
  • It's not stated there but why would Wood say that if that doesn't apply to Hogwarts? He was introducing Quidditch to Harry, so if he's only talking about the general rules, he must've said that "but here in Hogwarts we do not follow that rule..."
    – ur_Auror
    Aug 30, 2017 at 8:32
  • Like I said, I think you're right. But Wood is talking about a match of record-breaking length. It's possible that he had gone from talking about the specific (Hogwarts) to the abstract (general Quidditch). Aug 30, 2017 at 8:43
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Quidditch games are infrequent (source: there are only seven a year) and they are on weekends (in book 3, the finals are on the weekend after Easter). Its unlikely that there would be classes scheduled after the matches, since a) all the teachers and students attend them, and b) several times we see students head straight to the common room after matches and party all night.

Other than missing classes, the problem with matches going on for days is that there are no backups--just seven players to a team. Players would get fatigued and they would be forced to call the games after a few hours.

However, I can't find a source as to how they deal with it. There might be a set time limit, or the referee and/or Dumbledore can call it at any time. It's also possible that games can be "paused" so to speak, and then resumed on a later date. I found nothing in the books about this--all the matches are fairly short. It's also possible that the Snitches in school matches are enchanted to be easier or quicker to find than professional ones.

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  • Seven, not six? Aug 28, 2017 at 19:42
  • I mean, are there seven matches a year? Aug 28, 2017 at 19:43
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    @HarryWeasley Four teams who play each other once, so six games. Plus the final. Seven games. Aug 31, 2017 at 3:59
  • Oh, I thought it was just a round robin kind of tournament, with no final. However, I guess you're right, as they mention the final in Book 3. Thanks! (+1) Aug 31, 2017 at 9:34
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    @ʀᴇᴅ_ᴅᴇᴠɪʟ226, I don't think there's a seventh game. Do you have a reference? Dec 6, 2017 at 9:18
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From the rules listed in the book Quidditch Through the Ages, the game stops if the Snitch is catched OR if the two captains agree to stop. I do not remember any other rule to end the game.

Record is three months to catch the Snitch as stated by Griffondor captain, Oliver Wood :

This ...is the Golden Snitch, and it's the most important ball of the lot. It's very hard to catch because it's so fast and difficult to see. It's the Seeker's job to catch it. You've got to weave in and out of the Chasers, Beaters, Bludgers, and Quaffle to get it before the other team's Seeker, because whichever Seeker catches the Snitch wins his team an extra hundred and fifty points, so they nearly always win. That's why Seekers get fouled so much. A game of Quidditch only ends when the Snitch is caught, so it can go on for ages--I think the record is three months, they had to keep bringing on substitutes so the players could get some sleep.

But in school context, I imagine the captains will stop the game earlier (teachers will certainly pressure them to do that if needed :D)

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