About a week ago I was watching a Quidditch match on YouTube. At one point in the game, a Chaser was standing directly next to the Snitch. He was standing there for some time while a play was happening that didn’t involve him. This raised a question in my mind: “Can only the Seeker catch the Snitch?” I had never thought of this before. It would make for an interesting game if a Seeker were diving for a Snitch and some random Beater came out of nowhere to snatch it up for the opposing team. While I’m sure that Muggle Quidditch players have done their research on the subject, and the Chaser I was observing was doing as he was supposed to do within the rules of the game, I wanted to make sure.
I turned to my trusty copy of Quidditch Through the Ages for this particular question and found my answer on page 30. Under the chapter titled “Changes in Quidditch Since the Fourteenth Century,” I found a section about fouls. Any player besides the Seeker that catches or comes in contact with the Snitch is committing a foul. The official name for this foul is a snitchnip.
The other question I had was “What keeps players other then the Chasers from scoring goals?” While not directly answered as far as I could see in the book, it is made clear that only the Chaser carrying the Quaffle can enter the scoring area at the time of a goal to prevent stooging (beating up the Keeper). While this is obviously implying that only the Chasers are allowed to score goals, there is no concrete rule against another player tossing the Quaffle through a goal hoop. I don’t see why that would be a problem, however, since it would be a bad idea for a Keeper to leave their position and the goal posts ungaurded to travel across the pitch to make a goal themselves when there are three capable players to do the job. I also don’t think a Beater would try to carry both their Beater’s bat and the Quaffle at the same time. That would be a bit of a juggling act.
While it is a bit embarrassing that I think this much about Quidditch and care enough to research it when I still don’t fully understand football, I am sure that there are more minds like mine out there. Until football players can fly, I will not be researching that sport. I will stick to Quidditch.