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"This ball’s called the Quaffle. The Chasers throw the Quaffle to each other and try and get it through one of the hoops to score a goal. Ten points every time the Quaffle goes through one of the hoops. Follow me?"
Oliver Wood to Harry Potter[src]

A Quaffle was a ball used in the wizarding game of Quidditch.[2] It is approximately the size of a football.[3] When a Chaser used it to score once, they earn ten points for their team.[2]

Description

Oliver Wood holding a Quaffle in 1991

The Quaffle was twelve inches in diameter. It was a red, leather-covered ball used as the main object of play, and is the only one out of the three ball-types that was practically immobile. The three Chasers carried and passed the Quaffle to their opponent's goal hoops, where they tried to score points by throwing it through one of the three rings. Each time it passed through the hoops, the scoring team gained ten points.[2]

Quaffles had to be thrown into the goal hoops in order to score, failing to do so (like carrying through the goal hoop) commits a Haversacking foul. Also, the Keeper must defend the goal hoops from the front of the ring and not the back (a Flacking foul).[2][4]

History

The evolution of the Quaffle; to the left are two ancient Quaffles, one containing a strap and other containing finger holes; to the right is the Pennifold Quaffle

According to the entries in Gertie Keddle's diary, the Quaffle was the first ball used in the early form of Quidditch played at Queerditch Marsh. Originally, the ball was not enchanted, and made of patched leather with a strap attached to it to allow players to throw and catch it one handed. Some Quaffles had finger holes instead of the strap, rather like a Muggle bowling ball, or a coconut.[1]

The Quaffle

In 1711, the Quaffle was changed to its current scarlet colour, after a match played in heavy rain made it indistinguishable from the muddy ground. Shortly after, the witch Daisy Pennifold came up with the idea of enchanting the Quaffle so that it dropped to the ground slower than normal. Chasers were complaining of having to dive to the ground to retrieve a dropped ball, and the new enchantment gave the Chasers time to retrieve the ball while still in the air. The ball became known as the Pennifold Quaffle, a term that is still used today.[5]

In 1875, Gripping Charms were discovered, allowing the players to hold onto the Quaffle without using a strap or finger holes.[5]

Fouls

Quaffle-pocking was a common foul that consists of altering the Quaffle somehow, such as poking holes in it to make it fall faster or zigzag. Only Chasers could commit this foul.[5]

Behind the scenes

  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter sells a foam replica of a Quaffle.
  • The Quaffle-pocking foul may be a reference to the cheating methods Baseball pitchers sometimes use to gain an advantage by altering the ball in some way, such as coating it in a sticky substance to increase contact with the hand and increase the ball's spin when thrown.

Translations

  • Catalan: Bomba ("bomb")
  • Chinese (Simplified): 鬼飞球 (Gui fei qiu) ("Flying Ghost Ball")
  • Chinese (Traditional): 快浮
  • Croatian: balun
  • Czech: Camrál
  • Danish: Tromler ("steamroller")
  • Dutch: Slurk
  • Estonian: pomma
  • Faroese: Bjølga
  • Finnish: Kaato
  • French: Souafle
  • German: Quaffel
  • Greek, Ancient: κολοφῶν
  • Greek, Modern: κόκκινη μπάλα ("red ball")
  • Hebrew: קואפל
  • Hindi: तूफ़ान tūph.ān
  • Hungarian: kvaff
  • Icelandic: tromla
  • Irish: Cuaifeal
  • Italian: Pluffa
  • Japanese: クアッフル (kuaffuru)
  • Latin: Quaffle
  • Lithuanian: Kritlys
  • Norwegian: sluff
  • Polish: kafel
  • Portuguese (Portugal): Quaffle
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Goles
  • Romanian: Balon ("ball")
  • Russian: Квоффл (kvoffl)
  • Serbian: Квафл (kvafl)
  • Slovak: Prehadzovačka
  • Slovenian: lokl
  • Spanish: quaffle
  • Swedish: Klonken
  • Ukrainian: квафел (kvafel)
  • Welsh: Llyncill

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 3 (The Game from Queerditch Marsh)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 11 (Quidditch)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 6 (Changes in Quidditch since the Fourteenth Century)
Game of Quidditch
Quidditch pitch.gif
Officials: Quidditch referee
Player positions: BeaterChaserKeeperSeeker
Playing equipment: Beater's batBludgerBroomstickGolden SnitchQuaffle
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