Quidditch leagues around the world are changing the sport’s name to “Quadball” in an effort to distance the sport from its creator, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, and to skirt around trademark issues surrounding the game’s name.
In a July 19 statement, the International Quidditch Association announced it was joining US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch in changing the name of the real-life version of the magical game from the Harry Potter franchise.
“The IQA is very excited to be joining USQ and MLQ in changing the name of our sport and supporting this change across our members worldwide,” said IQA Board of Trustees Chair Chris Lau in a statement. “We are confident in this step, and we look forward to all the new opportunities quadball will bring. This is an important moment in our sport’s history, and I personally am thrilled to be a part of it,” Lau added.
QuidditchUK has also decided to change the sports name, calling the decision a “great moment in the development of our sport.”
“QuidditchUK support this great moment in the development of our sport, which is both symbolically and practically significant. The name change indicates a firm stance with our trans players and members, as well as giving us more firm legal footing and opening up greater opportunities for funding and external partners,” the group wrote in a statement.
According to the Washington Post, the IQA pointed to Rowling’s controversial statements on transgenderism as one of the main reasons for the name change.
In the statement, the group noted that LGBTQ+ activist groups GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign, as well as the three main characters in the Harry Potter movies – Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – have criticized Rowling’s stance on transgenderism.
Rowling first came under fire in 2019 after she took to Twitter to voice her support for a woman named Maya Forstater, a tax expert who was fired for asserting that transgender women cannot “change” their biological sex.
Rowling wrote, “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”
She later penned a lengthy essay on transgender issues, leading many trans activists to label her transphobic and a Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF).
Rowling has voiced, however, that she supports the transgender community and has even long donated to LGBTQ+ organizations. Her concern, she asserted, is that the concept of biological sex is being erased, a practice she believes harms women.
The IQA also pointed to trademark issues for the name change. Warner Brothers, the movie studio that owns the Harry Potter franchise, holds a trademark for the term “quidditch,” and leaders in the sport believe that changing the sport’s name will allow it to grow “into a mainstay of organized sports.”
Quidditch, which is a co-ed sport, was first played in real life in 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont, but the game did not take off until 2007. Today, the IQA says there are nearly 600 teams in 40 countries.
The game is played when two teams of at least seven players, each holding a broomstick between their legs, attempt to outscore each other by throwing a slightly deflated volleyball called a quaffle through one of their opponents’ three ring goals before the snitch – a position played by an impartial official representing a magical flying gold ball – is caught. Once the snitch is captured, the team that caught it is awarded 30 additional points, and the game ends.
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Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.