Quidditch

This game is the invention of Becky Dean and Jean MacKenzie; two old girls who still read children’s books. It is fashioned in faithful manner after the game Quidditch in the popular Harry Potter books.

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Briefing

Each team will have 60 seconds to complete three numbered three-obstacle sequences. When time expires the dog[1] should be directed to the table to stop time. The point values for each of the three-obstacle sequences are 15, 20, and 25 points respectively. Each three-obstacle sequence can be successfully completed only once. The sequences can be taken in any order. Each obstacle has individual point values that are earned by a team if a sequence is only partially completed prior to time expiring.

  • 1 point for jumps
  • 3 points for tunnels
  • 5 points for contact obstacles and weave poles

Upon the successful completion of a sequence the team will have the opportunity to earn bonus points for a successful performance of a tire; the ‘Beater’ bonus, for which the team will earn an additional 25 points.

Refusals will be faulted on the tire, but nowhere else on course. The initial direction of the dog’s approach to the tire will define the run-out plane of the obstacle for the purpose of judging refusals. If a dog commits a refusal on the tire, the Beater bonus is lost.

After attempting the Beater bonus the team should attempt another three-obstacle sequence. If the team completes each of the different three-obstacle sequences, they will earn a ‘Keeper’ bonus of 50 points in addition to the points of the individual sequences. Note: the bonus points earned or missed by the completion of the tire do not affect ability for a team to earn the Keeper bonus.

A dropped bar, fly-off, some off-courses (see wrong course rule, below) or missed contact will be considered a sequence fault. The team can immediately reattempt the same sequence or move to another of the three-obstacle sequences.

If a team completes or attempts more than three three-obstacle sequences, or completes one sequence more than once, the final score for the team will be zero.

When time expires no new points can be earned.

The Bludgers Rule

  1. A Bludger (wrong course obstacle) performed during the performance of an individual sequence shall result in a sequence fault. No points are earned for the performance of any individual obstacle unless the sequence is not completed due to expiration of time.
  2. Performance of a Bludger after the successful completion of a three-obstacle sequence on the way to the Beater (tire) shall be considered a fault of the Beater. The ability for the team to earn the Beater bonus is lost. The team should proceed to the next three-obstacle sequence, or to the table if appropriate.
  3. If the wrong course occurs: Bludgers (wrong courses) shall not be faulted: between the starting line and the first obstacle of a numbered sequence; between the Beater and the first obstacle of a numbered sequence; between the Beater and the table (to stop time).
  4. No points shall be earned for the performance of any Bludger.

Expiration of Time

If the whistle sounds prior to the completion of three three-obstacle sequences, the dog should be directed to the table. The team will earn individual points for obstacles completed prior to the sounding of the whistle. When the dog touches the table, time will stop. No table performance is required.

The Golden Snitch

If a team successfully completes three three-obstacle sequences, earns all three 25 bonuses for completing the tire, and touches the table prior to the 60-second whistle sounding, the team will earn the ‘Golden Snitch’ award of 75 bonus points.

Scoring

Quidditch is scored points then time. The dog with the most points wins. In the case of a tie, the dog with the shortest time will be the winner.

Course Design

The Quidditch course is a matter of some simplicity. It requires three sequences that are arranged about the “Beater.” The Beater should be the tire. Other obstacles that are not involved in scoring sequences are positioned about the course mostly to confound the team. These are “Bludgers”. Often these Bludgers are positioned in that transition from a scoring sequence to the Beater. And so the dog’s path might take on a snookeresque quality and is the true test in the handler’s canny ability to manage the movement of his dog.

The table shall be considered a Bludger. A wrong course to the table is faulted only if the wrong course occurs during the performance of one of the numbered sequences.

Qualifying and Titles

Quidditch is an eligible game for titling in the Teacup Dogs Agility Association (TDAA). Use the same course for dogs competing at all levels. The level at which the dog qualifies depends upon the number of points earned:

• Games I: 35 points
• Games II: 75 points
• Games III: 120 points

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.


[1] In this variation of the game the dog is naturally the Quaffle. But for the sake of clarity, we’ll just call him a dog.

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