This came up in another forum, and as lots of people liked my solution, I wanted to include it here for posterity. 😉 The problem with Quidditch is that the snitch is over-valued. It is so rare that it’s highly notable when the team catching the snitch doesn’t win the game.
My suggestion to fix Quidditch is to make the snitch worth zero points. It ends the game when caught, and the team with the most points at that time wins. If the score is tied, the snitch will disappear the moment it is touched and reappear in a random location.
What results from this change is that the Seeker has to react not only to the speed and timing of the snitch but also to the score of the game. If her team is ahead, the seeker must catch the snitch, but if her team is behind, the seeker must keep the other seeker from catching the snitch. (It would be even more of a challenge if the scoreboard weren’t visible to the seekers; it’s an easy enchantment in the wizarding world. Now, the seeker has to track and remember the scoring and act accordingly. Of course, the enchantment would also need to prevent the crowd and possibly teammates from tipping the seekers off as to the right move.)
With this, there is a need for a smart, decisive, and agile seeker. In the books, we’re led to believe those are traits required for a seeker, but the game actually doesn’t demand much besides skill on a broomstick and a willingness to endure some temporary injury that magic will heal shortly thereafter.
Now, let’s consider when the snitch should arrive. For a very fast-paced and exciting sport, having the Snitch buzzing about from the get go could be quite fun. It would force both teams to immediate action. The snitch appearing at a random point in time between 0-20 minutes into the game would also be interesting. Perhaps the snitch could appear randomly following the first score. In any case, the game is made much more strategic by simply reducing the point value of the snitch to zero.