J.K. Rowling took to Pottermore, the website made to extensively catalog information about all things Harry Potter, with “History Of The Quidditch World Cup,” a revealing look into the history, rules, and culture of the world of Quidditch.
Here are some new details to be gleaned from part one of the history:
1. The Official Guide To The Quidditch World Cup costs 39 galleons ($392.73!), a price that Rowling calls “ridiculously overpriced.”
2. The Quidditch World Cup has been held every four years since 1473, though apparently there’s a great deal of controversy and debate about that.
3. The rules concerning magic use at the World Cup fill up 19 volumes and include rules about prohibiting dragons and the modification of referee’s body parts.
4. When the International Statute Of Secrecy Act (the law made with intention of hiding and protecting wizards from muggles) was established in 1692, the International Committee Of Wizards Quidditch Committee (ICWQC) was also established.
Their job is to manage the location and setup of the World Cup, provide transportation for thousands of people, and police the games. Rowling calls the job “extremely thankless and difficult.”
5. Rowling extensively details the somewhat complex rules involved in the World Cup.
—Any country is allowed to enter the tournament as long as they enter 12 months after the last final.
—Teams are divided into 16 groups that play one another over two years with gameplay capped at four hours in order to avoid player exhaustion, and the times no snitch is caught.
—The final 16 teams are ranked by the a point system where a win by 150 points = 5 points, 100 points = 3 points, 50 points = 1 point, and a winner of a tie is whoever caught the snitch the quickest.
—Teams are then grouped by their points and play until there is a winner, the last two teams facing off in the finals.
6. Rowling also provides a brief list of infamous World Cup tournaments.
—1809: A particularly ill-tempered player orchestrated the bewitching of an entire forest so that it uprooted itself and attacked the assembled crowd, turning the World Cup into a giant wizard vs. tree battle. The player who orchestrated the bewitching was killed in the ensuing chaos.
—1877: No one remembers the World Cup this year, despite physical evidence of it happening, and no one is certain why, but the tournament was re-staged in 1878.
—1994: The dark mark reappeared at this World Cup, as referenced in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.