36

Say that, at any given moment during a Quidditch match, Team A has 150 points and Team B has 0 points. Then, in the next moment, Team B's Seeker has caught the Snitch. Both teams now have 150 points and, with the Snitch caught, the match is over.

Is there an immediate tie between the teams? Perhaps there is, instead, a sudden death face-off of some sort? Or does Team B win by default, and catching the Snitch counts as a tie breaker?

The last option sounds most probable to me, but I'm interested if there are any canon accounts of the above situation and how they were resolved, as I can't rememebr any mention of it in Quidditch Through the Ages or the old Quidditch videogame I used to play.

23

So I dug out my version of the only video game iteration of Quidditch in an attempt to emulate a tie and see what happens. For those curious, that would be Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup; specifically, I tested on the GameCube version.

I say tested, but the game was easy enough that it only took one match to get a tie; I simply got my team to a 150 point lead, then played it out until the other team caught the snitch. The result was rather anticlimactic, just ending in a "Draw" with no sudden death or anything.

So obviously this isn't canon, but considering its the only fleshed out emulation of Quidditch it seems relevant to the question.

game screenshot

  • 2
    This gets my +1. Although the games aren't on the same canon level as the films/books, they are at least licensed. – Valorum Jul 19 '15 at 15:26
19

There are no mentions of what would happen in a tie (that I know of).

I don't recall this being discussed in the main books, Quidditch through the Ages, or any JK Rowling interview. There's nothing to suggest the situation is impossible, but it never occurs in the canon and so we don't know what happens.

I can think of a few possible outcomes:

  • The team who caught the Snitch wins. This is a significant achievement in the game, and might carry extra weight in the event of a tie.
  • A "sudden death" round: the next team to score a goal wins.
  • Mutual agreement of the two captains. This is one of the ways by which a game can end without catching the Snitch, so it's possible that if one captain concedes that, despite the tie, the other team played better, the game is resolved in that direction. (I think that's an exceptionally unlikely option, but hey.)

Those are just guesses though; we have nothing to say which (if any) outcome is correct.

  • Didn't QTTA basically say that if it's a tie, the game would last till it isn't, forever? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jun 26 '15 at 15:40
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    Isn't there a game of Quidditch in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality in which both team agreed to not catch the snitch? It's the last game of the season and points are added to the house totals. By not catching the snitch, they can both get more points then the other houses. – SQB Jun 26 '15 at 17:58
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    The harsh reality is that this question that has been burning a hole in my mind for a decade will probably never get a solid answer. And yet I continue to search. Perhaps I will get lucky and the newly announced play will offhandedly mention such a match. – Etheur Jun 26 '15 at 20:13
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    I don't think either team wins by default. If that was the case, they could just change the value of the snitch to not be a multiple of ten (151 or 149), and then ties would no longer be possible. – Kevin Jun 26 '15 at 20:14
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    @Etheur JK Rowling answers questions on Twitter fairly regularly. If it's been burning holes in your mind for a decade, you should ask her. She may just answer! – ThruGog Jun 27 '15 at 19:07
14

In the second issue of the Daily Prophet that JK Rowling wrote back in 1998, there was an article with the title "Cannons Didn't Loose Shock" describing a draw.

While the full text is not available online, a summery can be found on the Harry Potter Lexicon.

The Daily Prophet reported that the Chudley Cannons drew a match against the Caerphilly Catapults. This broke their 16-game losing streak and gave hope to team manager Ragmar Dorkins
The Harry Potter Lexicon

In general Quidditch tournaments consist of many games and the particular outcome of one match do not matter that much, as points are cumulative.

5

Remember that J K Rowling is British and in British sports a tie is a perfectly acceptable outcome to a sports match.

Certainly in league events such as the house cup, a tie would be fine (e.g. 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie).

As wizarding events are, at the best, quirky. I'd suggest that, even in the world cup final a tie would acceptable.

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