Fixing Quidditch

Two thoughts occurred to me lately. The first was that you could fix the terribly broken game of Quidditch with just one rules tweak. As it is, six out of seven players on the field are usually just a sideshow while the two seekers fight to find the snitch, which is the only part of the game that actually matters. The chasers and keepers score and prevent goals so infrequently compared to the point value of the snitch that it’s hardly worth even showing up, and the beaters matter only insofar as they can incapacitate the other team’s seeker. It’s really not clear why the beaters ever bother taking a shot at the other team’s chasers, or ever bother defending their own (although for that second one, it at least makes sense that they’d want to protect their mates, even if it’s not clear why their mates are even in the game).

But only one rules change is required to change that completely: The snitch is worth exactly 1 point. Bearing in mind that a standard goal is worth 10 points, catching the snitch still ends the game, but it is worth so few points that it can only serve to break ties. Now the seekers are not only trying to spot and catch the snitch, they have to keep track of the current score and make sure to catch it while their team is ahead, or at least tied. Whether or not your team is ahead changes how you play. When you’re behind, your beaters have to choose between trying to keep the other team’s seeker busy or trying to keep the other team’s chasers busy to help level the score. When you’re ahead, you have to decide whether your beaters are going to focus on screening your seeker so they can catch up to the snitch without having to constantly burn speed dodging bludgers, or if they’re going to keep defending your chasers and/or swatting bludgers at the other team’s, in order to keep them from catching up. Rather than rendering the rest of their team irrelevant, the seeker’s team needs to build their strategy around catching the snitch at the right time.

The second thought that occurred to me was hey, didn’t I used to have some kind of online platform for sharing these kinds of thoughts with people? Whatever happened to that old thing?

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