Hi NQFY's (and returning students). Here's a quick rundown of how the House Cup is played.
Sometime in April, the signup form will appear. You enter your Ravelry ID and your house preferences. Ideally, you will get your first choice, but it is not always so as ScarlettB tries to make sure that the houses have equal participants. Signups close, and we are sorted during the last few days of the month.
On or around May 1st, the classes will be posted. You earn 5 points for a partially completed project, and 15 points for a fully completed project. OWL and (possibly) NEWT requirements will be posted at the same time. You receive 50 points for being 1/3 finished by the end of the second month, and 100 points for finishing your OWL. NEWT points are still slightly uncertain.
Take pretty pictures, and if you are good with words, a good story goes a long way towards bonus points! If you can't think of a good project, post to the Common Room, Great Hall, or look at what others have already finished. Almost any project can be made to fit most classes. If you have a project and don't know where to put it, never despair, the geniuses in the Common Room and Great Hall will help you. We will also be putting simple project ideas here on the Blog. Also, sometimes you earn bonus points for using House Colors or House Unity colors. Definitions thereof heavily debated, but for Huffs, it's definitely Black & Yellow.
Quidditch will also be open, but no one knows the details until term starts. Typically they are based on crafting for charity, but it changes every term.
Oh, and don't forget prizes! There are prizes all over the place that you can win. Make sure to read the Blog for the House Cup as well as the blog for your house. (This one, Hufflepuff.) The Huffleblog even offers Prizes & Awards - Spring 2010. These are available for Spring 2010, but prizes will be given out for each term.