- "Gobstones is an ancient wizarding game that resembles marbles, the principal difference being that every time a point is conceded, the winning stone squirts a foul-smelling liquid into the loser's face. "
Gobstones is a game mostly popular amongst wizarding children played with special stones, similar to the Muggle game of marbles except that when a player loses a point, the gobstone then spits a putrid liquid at the player. The game and its players do not enjoy a very 'cool' reputation, something its devotees tend to resent.
Gobstones is an ancient wizarding game that resembles marbles, the principal difference being that every time a point is conceded, the winning stone squirts a foul-smelling liquid into the loser's face. The standard play consists of players starting the game with fifteen small, round Gobstones each (Gobstones are sold in sets of thirty) and the winner must capture all of his opponent’s stones.
There are three other popular variants of Gobstones, however: "Classic" Game (where you have to knock seven Gobstones out of the circle before your opponent does), "Jack Stone" Game (where after four snaps your Gobstone must be the one closest to the Jack Gobstone) and the "Snake Pit" Game (which is similar to "Jack Stone", however instead of a Jack Gobstone there’s a hole on the centre of the circle).
Clubs, associations, and leagues
There currently exist numerous Gobstones clubs and leagues. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has various Gobstones Clubs. Most students own their own set of gobstones. Hogwarts' competitive Gobstones Team even held matches with other wizarding schools.
Eileen Prince, mother of Severus Snape, was Team Captain in her time. There is also an International Gobstones League, officiated from the Official Gobstones Club Offices, on the Department of Magical Games and Sports (level seven of the Ministry of Magic). There is also a National Welsh Gobstones Team, which competed in the Gobstones competition, the Gobstones Tournament. The National Gobstone Association hosts a Gobstones World Championship. The National Gobstone Association has attempted recruitment campaigns such as 'Give Gobstones A Second Glance', although the choice of accompanying picture (current Gobstones World Champion Kevin Hopwood being squirted with an eyeful of gunk) was perhaps ill-chosen.
Professional Gobstone players compete in national leagues and international tournaments, but it remains a minority sport within the wizarding world, and does not enjoy a very 'cool' reputation, something its devotees tend to resent. Gobstones is most popular among very young wizards and witches, but they generally 'grow out' of the game, becoming more interested in Quidditch as they grow older.
National Gobstones Teams
Gobstones Clubs at Hogwarts
- Slytherin Gobstones Club
- Gryffindor Gobstones Club
- Hogwarts Gobstones Team
- Ravenclaw Gobstones Club
- Hufflepuff Gobstones Club
Behind the scenes
- In the July 31 1998 edition of the Daily Prophet one reader wrote a letter complaining about the paper's lack of coverage of gobstones.
- Harry Potter once contemplated buying a solid gold set of gobstones at Diagon Alley.
- Flavius Belby was the president of his local Gobstones club, as seen in his story in the Lethifold portion of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was a happy memory used by Belby to produce his Patronus to chase the Lethifold.
- Eileen Prince was the club captain of Hogwarts' Gobstones club.
- Gobstones is mostly popular amongst very young witches and wizards, who tend to "grow out" of the game. It ranks low in popularity amongst recreational activities at Hogwarts.
- Albus Dumbledore played Gobstones with Remus Lupin while trying to convince Lyall Lupin and Hope Howell, Lupin's parents, to let him attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Nintendo DS version)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Mentioned only)