The only organised physical activity in the Harry Potter books seems to be the Quidditch Cup. The teams for that are very small (even assuming a reserve for every position, there only 14 players per house times 4 houses - that's not a lot of students). Aside from flying lessons with Madam Hooch, which seem to only happen in first year (To what extent are flying lessons provided at Hogwarts?) - is there any other activity for students who don't make it onto the Quidditch team? Do they just give up? Are training sessions provided by Madam Hooch to help people train for try-outs? Is there a B-league that's never shown? Do they play any other sports, or have PE lessons, or is running away from fellow students' curses considered sufficient exercise?

I've read the books and never found any reference to non-Quidditch-Cup exercise, but perhaps there is something from an interview or Pottermore that touches on this - any suggestions?

  • I'd actually never considered that! Great point Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 8:06
  • Could have sworn we'd covered this before somewhere, but I can't find it right now. Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 10:50
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    I love "...running away from fellow students' curses..." as a form of exercise. Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 4:51

1 Answer 1



The best example of a sport encouraged, at least a one point at Hogwarts, is Dueling (kudos MajorStackings)


We know from Quidditch Through the Ages that from 1750 the Department of Magical Games and Sports began passing legislation regarding the game of Quidditch, so this confirms that this particular department is indeed involved in sports.

We also see in the film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that the Daily Prophet has a 'Sports' section.

Now, it seems a bit ludicrous to me that a whole department be established for a single game/sport and I was right to suspect there were other games/sports. We have...**

  • Gobstones, a game rather like marbles with a magical twist. According to the previously linked Pottermore reference, there are even International leagues (probably where the Department of Magical Games and Sports comes in).


  • Wizard Chess (kudos user13267)

Wizard Chess

  • Exploding Snap (kudos user13267)

Exploding Snap

  • Garden Gnome Tossing (kudos MajorStackings)

Garden Gnome Tossing

  • Dragon Baiting (kudos MajorStackings)
  • Speed Spells (kudos MajorStackings)
  • 3 Headed Dog Racing (kudos MajorStackings)
  • Owl Racing (kudos MajorStackings)

So, in the wizarding world in general, it seems people can play Quidditch or Gobstones, or perhaps a muggle sport if they felt that way inclined and were sufficiently familiar with the rules.

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    I suppose they play muggle sports as well, but this being a book about magic, it's just not shown (also describing the children spending their leisure time playing football or basket ball is not important to the plot). Quidditch is possibly the only sport that requires special Ministry attention because of the way it is played and the scale in which it is popular, so that wizards playing quidditch do not get seen by muggles
    – user13267
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 10:15
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    And by the way, if we are to include Gobstones in this list, then we might as well include Wizard Chess and Exploding Snap (I believe that is a type of card game) (I think there are other similar board games as well, but can't remember them right now)
    – user13267
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 11:33
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    @N_Soong Consider Dueling, Dragon Baiting, Speed Spells, 3 Headed Dog Racing, Owl Racing, and Garden Gnome Tossing. There could be many more. Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 19:00
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    I believe the philosophers stone gameboy game had a sort of mini game that involved cards too (that wasn't exploding snap). It might have just been pairs but I can't remember exactly. I'll see if I can dig it up (I've got the game laying around somewhere if Google fails me) but depending on your (and the OP's) attitude on levels of canon it might be something to add :) edit: to clarify, it was an "in-universe" card game, meaning students at Hogwarts played it, rather than a purely out of universe game tacked on, if that makes sense
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 23:37
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    @N_Soong duelling was never encouraged at Hogwarts... This was just for teaching self defense to children. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 16:57

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