The golden snitch is the third and smallest ball used in a quidditch match. It is a walnut-sized gold-coloured sphere with silver wings. It flies around the pitch at high speeds, occasionally pausing and hovering in place. The snitch is worth one-hundred and fifty points, but only the team’s Seeker can catch it. If they do, the game ends immediately. If they miss it, the match is a draw. If the snitch is caught by a player other than the Seeker, they commit a Snitchnip, which is one of the most common fouls in Qudditch.
Before the invention of the Golden Snitch, wizards and witches played a game known as Snitch hunting. This was a dangerous sport as Snitches moved very quickly and could be hard to spot. However, Snitch hunters could use spells to slow down or immobilize a Snitch to make it easier to catch.
Snitch hunting became popular after the Chief of the Wizards’ Council, Barberus Bragge, offered a 150 galleon reward to anyone who could catch a Snitch during a Quidditch match. The Golden Snitch was eventually introduced when a wizard named Bowman Wright created it in the 13th century, creating a golden version of a Snitch with flight characteristics similar to those of the real animal.
The Golden Snitch appears in every book in the Harry Potter series and is first used by Harry in his first-ever Quidditch match. The Snitch is a very important part of the game as it can determine which team wins. It has several magical properties, including flesh memory that allows it to verify the first person who touched it. It also has speed control that allows the snitch to accelerate when a player approaches it.