Quidditch ditches its association with JK Rowling with official name change
Lynnwood, Washington - Quidditch, the real-life sport inspired by the game played by witches and wizards in the Harry Potter universe, has a new name: quadball.
The sport’s governing bodies in the US released Tuesday a joint statement announcing that they are rebranding as US Quadball and Major League Quadball.
Meanwhile, the International Quidditch Association, which governs the sport at the international level, is also planning to adopt the new name worldwide.
The move, first announced in December, comes in part as a way for players to distance themselves from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has alienated many with her very public confrontation with the trans community, dating back to March 2018, when she liked a tweet that referred to trans women as "men in dresses."
Rowling "has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions," the newly named sports leagues said in the joint statement.
"LGBTQ+ advocacy groups like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign as well as the three lead actors in the Harry Potter film series have criticized her stances," the statement added.
Quadball looking for "full creative control"
But there's more to the change than just Rowling.
"Quidditch" is a Warner Bros. film and entertainment company trademark. Having "full creative control" of the name of the sport will allow the leagues "to pursue the kinds of opportunities that our community has dreamed about for years," said the league’s Co-Commissioner Amanda Dallas.
"In less than 20 years, our sport has grown from a few dozen college students in rural Vermont to a global phenomenon with thousands of players, semi-pro leagues, and international championships," added US Quadball Executive Director Mary Kimball. "Our organizations are committed to continuing to push quadball forward."
In fantasy-world quidditch, two teams of witches, wizards, and the occasional muggle try to score goals while riding flying broomsticks. It was created by Rowling and it first appeared in the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997.
The real-life version was created in 2005 by two students at Middlebury College in Vermont, who adapted the fictional game into a real-life sport. No broomsticks – or flying – is required.
Today, the game is played by nearly 600 teams in 40 countries.
Cover photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP