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It seems that in Quidditch some things are considered as impermissible magical interference, such as drinking Felix Felicis, while other things are fine, such as Hermione magically rainproofing Harry's glasses.

Is there a good rule of thumb of what is and isn't permitted as far as magical interference in competitive Quidditch goes?

I'm specifically interested in 3 things:

  • Weather control (getting rid of rain)

  • Magically enhancing your abilities, e.g. creating a spell which would serve as a Snitch Radar

  • Quidditch Field (enlarge/shrink the hoops?)

  • Magical interference by players with other players or their equipment? (e.g. push them using a spell, jinx them to be blind using Conjuctivites, etc...) [ NOTE: This last bullet was fully answered by Thaddeus on a different question ]

  • Same as the last one but interference from spectators. E.g. could the Slytherin team be legally disqualified if someone from the spectators jinxed a Gryffindor player during a play?

Canon based answers only please.

DISCLAIMER: the timing of this question was in no way influenced by Lance Armstrong or his doping or lack thereof

  • Just to be clear - I'm not asking if there's a "book of rules" that is mentioned in canon. I'm asking about contents of those rules that are mentioned in canon, e.g. QTTA and Pottermore and interviews. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 24 '12 at 18:19
  • I'm tempted to VTC this, as the answer to the other question you just asked explicitly explains the rules regarding magical interference. – NominSim Aug 24 '12 at 18:31
  • @NominSim - weather control is not covered by the other question. Neither is enhancing your own abilities before the match (Snitch Radar). – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 24 '12 at 18:41
  • I feel like weather control, and manipulating the field should fall under using wands "against any players, any player's broomstick, the referee, any of the four balls, or the spectators." The spirit of the rule clearly indicates that if you are affecting the game with a wand, it is against the rules (it further elaborates that the only reason wands are permitted is that there is a law stating they can be carried at all times). – NominSim Aug 24 '12 at 19:05
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    @b_jonas - JKR promised an encyclopedia of Potterverse at some point. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 24 '12 at 21:00
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Pottermore doesn't have any groundbreaking info on Quidditch at this time, but rather just a basic overview of what the game is all about.

Personally I deduce from canon that Quidditch is a down and dirty, full-blown contact sport where cheating abounds! Particularly when Gryffindor and Slytherin are playing against each other (well, okay, maybe Slytherin cheats a tad more liberally than Gryffindor. Ambition isn't always pretty.). There aren't many examples of magic used in Quidditch in canon.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry, thinking he sees three Dementors, performs the Patronus charm during the Gryffindor/Ravenclaw game; however, it turns out to just be Malfoy, Flint, Crabbe, and Goyle dressed up as Dementors, trying to scare Harry and cause him to faint and fall. Madam Hooch did not call a foul on this against Harry. Professor McGonagall took care of business, though:

‘An unworthy trick!’ [Professor McGonagall] was shouting. ‘A low and cowardly attempt to sabotage the Gryffindor Seeker! Detention for all of you, and fifty points from Slytherin! I shall be speaking to Professor Dumbledore about this, make no mistake! Ah, here he comes now!’

Prisoner of Azkaban - page 195 - Bloomsbury - chapter 13, Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw

The above, I believe, technically constitutes spectator interference; however, as Gryffindor was playing Ravenclaw that day, and not Slytherin, it wouldn't make sense to disqualify the Ravenclaw team for a ridiculous stunt Malfoy was responsible for.

That said, I can absolutely see disqualifying the Slytherin team in Order of the Phoenix for the Weasley is our King antics because Slytherin's Keeper, Bletchley, and the Slytherin spectators were participating in it. But Madam Hooch apparently was passed out or something thought otherwise.

You already mentioned the Impervius charm that keeps Harry's glasses clear so he can see (and yet I am mentioned it again ... )

Perhaps it might be possible to cast the Meteolojinx Recanto spell to stop rain:

‘Yes, a lot of offices have been raining lately,’ said Mr Weasley. ‘Did you try meteolojinx recanto? It worked for Bletchley.’

Meteolojinx recanto?’ whispered Ron. ‘No, I didn’t. Thanks, D— I mean, thanks, Arthur.’

Deathly Hallows - page 210 - Bloomsbury - chapter 13, The Muggle-Born Registration Commission

It's unclear if Meteolojinx Recanto is just for indoor rain, or if it works only in small spaces. I think deliberately changing the weather to benefit a game of Quidditch would be considered weak and unsportsmanlike. Rain, mud, and sports are natural allies :)

In QTTA (pages 19-20), a Daily Profit article discusses how baskets attached to the hoops were disallowed, as it was impossible to standardize the size of the baskets. Why magical witches and wizards couldn't standardize baskets, I don't know.

Perhaps purposeful failure to knock nearby Bludgers away would constitute a foul if the Beaters' deliberate negligence caused one of their teammates to be injured. (QTTA pages 22-23)

Okay, as far as a good rule of thumb goes, I would imagine that magic used in Quidditch would have to be a spell or charm that does not give the receiver an unfair advantage over any other player, and that every individual playing had access to, such as Cushioning Charms and Braking Charms. For example, say all the members of the Hufflepuff and Gryffindor Quidditch teams wore glasses and couldn't see due to the rain. If they all got the Impervius Charm, fine. No problem. But if only Harry received the charm, that would be inequitable.

I looked at all the Quidditch scenes in the books and I actually didn't find an example, other than the Patronus Charm, of magic being used by one of the players in the game.

If the exhibition of Muggle duelling counts, then Harry, George, and Fred received a lifetime ban from Quidditch by Umbridge after they beat up Draco Malfoy following the Gryffindor/Slytherin game in Order of the Phoenix.

  • I don't think Umbridge was working based on any rules :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 25 '12 at 11:12
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    “a down and dirty, full-blown contact sport where cheating abounds”. Do you mean “a sport”? :P – alexwlchan Jun 21 '14 at 19:43
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    "Meteolojinx Recanto" sounds like a spell to recant (which means to withdraw or relinquish) a "Meteolojinx". It sounds like a counter spell to something else which causes rain, not an all-purpose "Stop the rain" spell. Think "Lumos" and "Nox" - "Nox" doesn't extinguish light, just the one created by "Lumos". – Dr R Dizzle Oct 2 '15 at 12:44

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