Game Fixing Episode in World Cup Quidditch

Michael Giberson

There’s been a lot written about game-fixing in basketball lately, but not much about an obvious game fixing episode in World Cup Quidditch.

That is to say, not much written about quidditch match fixing until now. Phil Birnbaum fills the gap at the Sabermetric Research blog.

And then there was the suspicious episode in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets during the big Gryffindor vs Slytherin match. As we only learn later, Dobby, the Malfoy’s house elf, enchanted a bludger to chase after Harry and in trying to dodge the bludger Harry fell and broke an arm. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lucius Malfoy himself had a little wager on the game.


4 thoughts on “Game Fixing Episode in World Cup Quidditch

  1. To continue this not-too-serious note: Is it legal to bet on Quidditch matches? They are played by kids much younger than those in the NCAA, which has been subject of calls for banning bets on college sports. I would imagine that if people have reservations about the acceptability of betting on students in their late teens to early twenties, bets on sports involving middle schoolers would be even less acceptable.

  2. I’m not sure about the gambling laws in Britain – they are much less restrictive than the U.S. – and whether they apply to the magical world, well I just don’t know.

    A more problematic issue in my view is the wisdom of betting on fictional events, because in essence you are betting on the decision of the author about how things will turn out. My guess is that longshots pay off much more often in fiction. Actually, it is probably the case that gamblers that seek to fix game outcomes are caught and punished more often in fictional accounts, too.

    I believe the issue is relatively unexplored in the academic literature.

  3. Bulgaria essentially conceding the World Cup finals match exposes a flaw in the format of the World Cup more than anything in the game itself.

    In a league table set-up such as the Hogwarts House Cup, the odd rule of giving 150 points to the snitch catcher doesn’t make the rest of the game meaningless because the winner of the house cup is based on total points margin, not wins and losses.

    But the world cup plays a one-off winner-take-all final. This doesn’t make sense in a sport like quidditch. That would be like having a one game World Series in baseball, like they tried for a while in college to appease tv. I would propose that the world cup of quidditch should be decided by two rounds of group play followed by final series which would be best out of three or first team to 1000 pts.

  4. Bulgaria essentially conceding the World Cup finals match exposes a flaw in the format of the World Cup more than anything in the game itself.

    In a league table set-up such as the Hogwarts House Cup, the odd rule of giving 150 points to the snitch catcher doesn’t make the rest of the game meaningless because the winner of the house cup is based on total points margin, not wins and losses.

    But the world cup plays a one-off winner-take-all final. This doesn’t make sense in a sport like quidditch. That would be like having a one game World Series in baseball, like they tried for a while in college to appease tv. I would propose that the world cup of quidditch should be decided by two rounds of group play followed by final series which would be best out of three or first team to 1000 pts.

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