Snitch Refereeing

Before the seeker floor ends

For the first 17 minutes, what should you be doing? If the head referee asks and you are qualified to, you can assistant referee until the 16 minute mark when you should return to the score table. If you aren’t, you should remain in the player area and help the referees in other ways such as keeping the benches under control, running any spare equipment to the pitch or helping communicate any referee calls to/from the table.

At the 16 minute mark, you should return to the table, collect your whistle and call the seekers from each team to report to the timekeeper, introduce yourself, and the snitch to them and tell them anything you feel is necessary for the game. Also check the snitch equipment at this time.

Snitch on Pitch

At 17 minutes you should run with the snitch onto the pitch. Once the snitch has taken their position, you should make sure no equipment has come loose. Keep your eye on the rest of the game until you hear the countdown for seeker release. Once there, take your position (shown below) and watch the seeker release ensuring that they leave the release box after 18 minutes has passed, there are no beats and there is no illegal contact during the run to the snitch. In the case of Overtime, watch the seeker release box after 30 seconds.


You should aim to stand between 30 and 60 degrees to the side of the snitch so that you can see the tail and contact at the same time. You should also be aware of your positioning with regards to the seekers to ensure you are not in between them and the snitch.

Calling the snitch down

If at any point the snitch’s body touches the ground (apart from their hands or feet), contacts the ground on or outside the boundary line (any body part), needs to adjust their clothing, or play is restarted after any stoppage, you should shout “Snitch is down”. The seekers should cease attacking immediately. If they don’t you can send them back to hoops and inform the head referee of the foul and suggest a yellow card for ignoring referee directive. Once they have stopped play, between then and finishing your 3, 2, 1, Go countdown if any seeker takes a step towards the snitch to defend or attack, you should send them back to hoops (this does not apply if they are running past the snitch to substitute and the snitch is between them and the sub box).


Handicaps occur at the 18, 23, 28 and 33 minute mark (5, 5, 5). These are Between the two Keeper Zone Lines, Mid-line, One Arm, and Ball Point furthest from score table. If overtime or second overtime occurs only ‘Between the two Keeper Zone Lines’ applies.

Stopping play

There are 3 reasons you would stop play as a snitch referee which are:

  • The snitch is injured
  • Defective snitch equipment that cannot be immediately fixed (this also applies to the snitch acting in a dangerous manner that could cause injury to seekers or others)
  • There is a snitch catch you believe to be good

Confirming the catch

Once you have stopped play, you should ensure there is no obstruction on the snitch and the snitch didn’t feel they got charged.