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"A source of vehement disagreements, a security risk for all who attend it and a frequent focus for unrest and protest, the Quidditch World Cup is simultaneously the most exhilarating sporting event on earth and a logistical nightmare for the host nation."
— Description of the Quidditch World Cup[src]

The Quidditch World Cup (also called the World Cup or World Championship)[1] was held every four years since 1473. The competition saw Quidditch teams representing countries around the world to compete for the World Cup, while the International Quidditch Tournament was between regional teams.



The Official Guide to the Quidditch World Cup

The Official Guide to the Quidditch World Cup was the official guidebook to the Quidditch World Cup, written and published by the International Confederation of Wizards' Quidditch Committee, providing information on the rules and history of the Quidditch World Cup. Sold in most reputable bookstores, this tome cost thirty-nine Galleons, leading most wizards and witches to call it overpriced.[2]

The tournament was held every four years since 1473. As with so much else about the wizarding world’s most important sporting competition, many queried the accuracy of this statement. As only European teams competed during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, purists preferred to date the Quidditch World Cup’s inception from the seventeenth century when it became open to all continents.

There was also heated debate about the accuracy of some historical accounts of tournaments. A substantial amount of all post-game analysis centred on whether magical interference took place and whether it made, or ought to have made, the final result moot.[2]


"The ICWQC has the unlucky job of regulating this contentious and anarchic competition."
— Description of the ICWQC [src]
Quidditch rulebook

Nineteen volume rulebook

The ICWQC was an international regulatory body, subject to the International Confederation of Wizards, that oversaw international Quidditch competitions, such as the World Cup. Namely, it located suitable venues, arranged transportation for spectators, and provided policing for the games themselves. It was also the ICWQC that chose the referees for World Cup matches.<[2]

The rulebook concerning both on-and-off pitch magic was alleged to stretch to nineteen volumes and to include such rules as ‘no dragon is to be introduced into the stadium for any purpose including, but not limited to, team mascot, coach or cup warmer’ and ‘modification of any part of the referee’s body, whether or not he or she has requested such modification, will lead to a lifetime ban from the tournament and possibly imprisonment.'[2]

Mentor Metaxas, a Greek wizard, was the chairman of the International Confederation of Wizards Quidditch Committee in 2014.[3]

Statute of Secrecy[]

A watershed moment for the Quidditch World Cup was the implementation of the International Statute of Secrecy in 1692, which was intended to conceal the existence of magic and wizards. The International Confederation of Wizards (ICW) saw the Quidditch World Cup as a security risk of the highest magnitude because of the mass movement and congregation of so many members of the international wizarding community.[2]

However, following mass protests and threats to the ICW, it was agreed that the tournament could continue and a regulatory body — the ICWQC — was set up to locate suitable venues — usually remote moors, deserts and deserted islands — arrange transportation for spectators (as many as a hundred thousand routinely attend finals) and police the games themselves, a task generally agreed to be among the most thankless and difficult in the wizarding world.[2]

Format and Qualifying[]

The number of participating countries varied from tournament to tournament. Any country could enter a team within twelve months of the previous final.[2]

Quidditch World Cup Qualifying[]

Sixteen separate groups of teams were formed. Each team played all of the other teams in their group over a two year period. During the group phase, there was a cap of four hours on every game to avoid player exhaustion. On the occasion that the game ended after four hours of play and the Golden Snitch wasn't caught, the result was decided by the amount of goals scored. A win earned two points.

In addition to these two points, a win by 150 points earned five points, by 100 points an extra three points and by 50 points an extra one point. If two teams were level on points, they were separated by whichever team captured the Snitch most often, or most quickly during their matches. The sixteen teams who finished top of the sixteen groups qualified for the World Cup.[2]

The Quidditch World Cup[]

The tournament proper was straight knockout. The sixteen qualified countries were ranked according to how many points they obtained in the qualifying groups. The team who won the most points played the team who earned the least, the team who earned the second most played the team who earned the second least, and so on. This theoretically allowed the two best teams from the qualifying phase to meet in the final.[2] For the 2014 Quidditch World Cup though, Nigeria and Norway were the top seeded teams and could face each other as early as the semi-finals.

Recorded World Cups[]

15th-18th century[]

Date Notes
1473 This was the first ever Quidditch World Cup. Only European teams participated. The final was contested between Flanders and Transylvania. During the match, all 700 known fouls were committed (and several new ones subsequently created), including the Transfiguration of a Chaser into a polecat, the attempted decapitation of a Keeper with a broadsword, and the release of a hundred vampire bats from underneath the robes of the Transylvanian Captain[4]. The Transylvanian Tackle was also first performed in the 1473 World Cup.[5]
17th century Non-European teams compete in the tournament for the first time.[4]

19th century[]

Date Notes
1801 or 1805 The Cup is held in Great Britain as a result of lobbying by British Minister for Magic Artemisia Lufkin.[6]

Attack of the Killer Forest

The 1809 Quidditch World Cup was a major catastrophe and one of the most notorious controversies in the history of the World Cup, as well as the worst exhibition of temper ever given by a player.[2] It resulted in several injuries and even death.

Tournament that Nobody Remembers

The 1878 Cup was a restaging of the 1877 Cup (dubbed 'The Tournament That No One Remembers').[2] The tournament has been held every four years since the recall. A tournament was arranged for 1877, with a venue chosen, tickets sold and merchandise produced, but nobody, player or supporter, could remember having attended any matches.[2]
1878 Argentina and Brazil reached the quarter finals.[4]

20th century[]

Date Notes
c. 1964 Britain hosted the World Cup.[7]
1966 Australia won this tournament, with Chaser Royston Idlewind.[2]

Royston Idlewind and the Dissimulators

The 1974 Quidditch World Cup was an international Quidditch sporting event that took place in the summer of 1974. It was the 417th edition of the World Cup.[8][2] It was won by the Syrian Quidditch team.[2]
1982 The Brazilian National Quidditch team participated in the Quidditch World Cup. The team made it to the finals.
1986 The American National Quidditch team participated in the Quidditch World Cup. Maximus Brankovitch III was their captain and Seeker.
1990 The U.S.A. participated in this year's World Cup. Brankovitch III was their captain again.[9] The final went on for five days, in which Scotland suffered a bitter defeat against Canada.[10]

Reappearance of the Dark Mark

"Granger, they're after Muggles. D'you want to be showing off your knickers in midair? Because if you do, hang around... they're moving this way, and it would give us all a laugh."
Draco Malfoy regarding the targets of the Riot[src]
This was one of the most notable controversies in the history of the Quidditch World Cup, occurring on 18 August, 1994 in Dartmoor, England.[2] A riot broke out when a large group of Death Eaters stormed Mr Roberts's campsite, destroying everything in their wake, torturing Muggles and Muggle-borns alike. The Death Eaters were fought by Ministry of Magic employees. It ended when Barty Crouch Jnr fired the Dark Mark into the sky causing most of the Death Eaters to Disapparate. Afterward, Bartemius Crouch Snr's house-elf Winky was fired when she was found in possession of the wand that made the Mark, and Rita Skeeter wrote a scathing report about the raid criticising the Ministry's security at the Cup. The results of the Cup were:
  • Transylvania defeated England, 390-10
  • Luxembourg defeated Scotland
  • Uganda defeated Wales
  • Semi-final: Ireland defeated Peru
  • Final: Ireland defeated Bulgaria, 170-160
The Quibbler headline[src]
During the Death Eater regime over Britain in 1997-1998, the Quidditch World Cup was reportedly cancelled. This resulted in a number of death threats directed to the British Ministry of Magic.[11] After the Battle of Hogwarts, the de-corrupted Ministry (now led by Kingsley Shacklebolt) still managed to organise the World Cup, in which Malawi won over Senegal in the finals.

21st century[]

Date Notes
2002 Egypt won against Bulgaria when Rawya Zaghloul caught the Snitch right before Viktor Krum. It was such a loss that Viktor Krum then tearfully resigned.
2006 Burkina Faso won against France. The Burkinabé Seeker Joshua Sankara, became the Minister of Magic in his country for 2 days before he resigned to continue playing Quidditch.
2010 Moldova won against China. The match lasted 3 days, and contained some of the finest Quidditch ever seen.
  First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
Flag of Côte d'Ivoire  Ivory Coast 100  
Flag of Norway  Norway 340  
  Flag of Norway  Norway 20  
  Flag of Bulgaria  Bulgaria 170  
Flag of Bulgaria  Bulgaria 410
New Zealand Flag  New Zealand 170  
  Flag of Bulgaria  Bulgaria 610  
  800px-Flag of Japan  Japan 460  
800px-Flag of Japan  Japan 350  
Flag of Poland  Poland 140  
  800px-Flag of Japan  Japan 270
  Flag of Nigeria  Nigeria 100  
800px-Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 160
Flag of Nigeria  Nigeria 400  
  Flag of Bulgaria  Bulgaria 170
  720px-Flag of Brazil  Brazil 60
Flag of Jamaica  Jamaica 230  
American Flag  USA 240  
  American Flag  USA 450
  Flag of Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 290  
Flag of Chad  Chad 330
Flag of Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 470  
  American Flag  USA 310
  720px-Flag of Brazil  Brazil 420  
720px-Flag of Brazil  Brazil 100  
Flag of Haiti  Haiti DQ*  
  720px-Flag of Brazil  Brazil 460
  Flag of Wales 2  Wales 300  
Flag of Germany  Germany 100
Flag of Wales 2  Wales 330  
*Disqualified (90 points + illegal capture of the Snitch).
NB: There was a play-off between the semifinals losers to determine third place; Japan beat the USA 330 to 120.


Quidditch World Cup Trophy

The Quidditch World Cup trophy


The Quidditch World Cup trophy as seen on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Behind the scenes[]


The Quidditch World Cup Stadium in 1994

  • The cup was held every four years until the Tournament that Nobody Remembers, at which point it was held two years in a row because nobody recalled it. Then it was held every four years again from 1878 onwards.
  • The mathematics surrounding the dates of the World Cup are contradictory; if 1994 was the 422nd, the tournament should have begun in 310 rather than 1473, as it is a proud boast of the International Confederation of Wizards' Quidditch Committee that the competition has been held only every four years, not more or less, since 1473.
    • When taking the Tournament that Nobody Remembers into account, the first Quidditch World Cup should have been in either 309 or 313 depending on whether the 1877 and 1878 World Cups were counted separately or as one.
    • In chapter 3 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Molly Weasley mentions in her letter to Vernon and Petunia Dursley that "Britain hasn't hosted the Cup for thirty years"; thirty, however, is not a multiple of four, and so it could be assumed that she was simply rounding.
  • The Quidditch World Cup seems to correspond to the Muggle Football World Cup, which takes place every four years, is hosted by a different nation at each occurrence, and has the best players from many countries participating in it. Furthermore, British nations frequently disappoint at this tournament, despite characteristic high hopes. It also takes place in the same year as its football counterpart.


See also[]

Notes and references[]

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 13 (Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "History of the Quidditch World Cup" at Wizarding World
  3. 2014 Quidditch World Cup final (Archived from Pottermore)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 8 (The Spread of Quidditch Worldwide)
  5. Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 10 (Quidditch Today)
  6. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Ministers for Magic" at Wizarding World
  7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 3 (The Invitation) - Molly mentioned "Britain hasn’t hosted the Cup for thirty years" in her letter in 1994; 1994-30=1964, though 1964 was not a year the World Cup was held in.
  8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 8 (The Quidditch World Cup)
  9. Quidditch Through the Ages (real)
  10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 5 (Weasley's Wizard Wheezes)
  11. "Divulgado roteiro COMPLETO de Relíquias da Morte: Parte 1 - FULL Deathly Hallows: Part 1 script released″ on Oclumencia.com.br. (translation here)