Miscellaneous Musings of Luke Shors

“Where the telescope ends the microscope begins, and who can say which has the wider vision?” - Victor Hugo

 

Quidditch Strategy

Pomona Sprout, Headmistress Hufflepuff.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry


Insight Consulting Group (ICG) is pleased to respond to your request, “How can Hufflepuff Lead Hogwarts in Quidditch?”. This is our first contract with the wizarding world – most of our current clients constitute muggle-majority owned businesses – and we were eager to apply our analytical expertise to the wizarding world.


Although we are muggles and 9 and ¾ tracks apart from wizarding folk, we nonetheless see the evolution of many muggle sports as being highly instructive to where Hufflepuff needs to take its quidditch game to capture the Hogwarts cup. The parallels here may be best illustrated by Michael Lewis’ classicMoneyball. Moneyballchronicles the evolution of baseball, a muggle sport that also involves hitting a ball. Whereas prior to Moneyballscouts evaluated potential prospects by how good their swing looked, post Moneyball-era managers saw these efforts to gauge performance as subjective, unreliable, and open to bias. Slugging percentage and on-base percentage became validated as statistically rigorous predicative metrics – and far more reliable than if a scout had a ‘good feeling’ about a prospect.


Quidditch at Hogwarts in many ways is muggle baseball pre-Moneyball.That a player looks like a ‘seeker’ or a ‘beater’ likely causes Hufflepuff and every other house to miss non-typical prospects who may exceed the performance of prototypical Quidditch players. We would recommend opening tryouts up house-wide, implementing a sabermetric-style approach and using empirical assessments and time-trials to limit any natural bias in the evaluation and selection of potential Quidditch players.


If this recommendation focuses on the recruitment of Quidditch players, the next recommendation centers on strategy on the pitch. Put very plainly, once the Golden Snitch is released, everything else ceases to matter. Because catching the snitch is worth 150 points – 15 times as much as scoring a goal – AND causes the game to end, this makes catching the snitch paramount and easily makes it worth it to surrender several goals in pursuit of the snitch. Current Hufflepuff strategy (and strategy of all houses) is the same, regardless of whether the snitch is on the pitch. This is akin to if soccer teams (another muggle sport) played a 1-3-4-3 formation regardless of the score and game time remaining. Although Quidditch rules specify there can be only one Seeker, they say nothing about hindering the opposing seeker’s quest for the Snitch. Such an all-hands-on-deck defensive effort is critical. Excepting heartthrob Viktor Krum’s snitch catch for Bulgaria, no major Quidditch game has transpired where the team that caught the Snitch lost the game.


Focus, strategy and statistics. With these three beacons Hufflepuff will soon arise as a Quidditch power and honor the great Hufflepuffs of the past – Newton Scamander, Cedric Diggory (gone too soon) and the eponymous Hufflepuff herself, the great Helga Hufflepuff.


Thank you.



Jonathan Remose

Lead Intergalactic Consultant, ICG

 

About Me

"Not all those who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkinn

I think of myself (as well as aspire to be) a curious person. Curious in a book store, but also curious exploring a new city or meeting a new person. Curious in planned and unplanned moments. In an era where knowledge about the world is both vast and deep, curiosity occasionally strikes me as anathema to expertise. Or, more accurately, if you are curious, best to be curious about some very specific topic. But so far at least, that does not seem to be my path. My professional work is orientated towards start ups as well as international development.

In 2019 I decided to make a more concerted effort to write - hence this site. My blog focuses on science and technology, health research and education. My fiction is of the speculative variety - Science fiction that uses scientific ideas to explore human experiences. Thanks for reading!

 
People Walking
 

Education

University of Iowa, BA Philosophy (2000)

Johns Hopkins, MPH (2005)

Johns Hopkins, MBA (2005)

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ed.D. (2017)

 

©2018 by Dr. Luke Shors