Quidditch, the real-life sport inspired by the passing game played by young wizards in “Harry Potter,” is shedding its whimsical name. Now, athletes will ride broomsticks to play quadball.
US Quadball and Major League Quadball, the two governing bodies for sports in North America, announced the new “quadball” name this week, which will take effect this summer. The International Quidditch Association also plans to adopt the new name, the organizations said.
There were two reasons for the name change, according to the governing bodies: The sport wanted to break away from “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and her anti-transgender rhetoric. Also, no organization owned the “quidditch” trademark. (Warner Bros., which owns the “quidditch” trademark, and CNN share parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.)
Rowling has increasingly shared views that target transgender people, particularly trans women. Her comments have alienated many of her fans and several of the actors who brought her stories to the screen, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who have publicly supported trans people.
Both organizations denounced their positions, saying the sport was “one of the most progressive sports in the world when it comes to gender equality,” referencing a rule that requires teams to have no more than four players of the same gender on the field. at once.
And so, last December, the then leaders of Quidditch decided to find a new name for the sport by surveying the players. Options at the time included quadraball, quidball, and the eventual winner, among others.
“This name change is a game changer for us, and we’re looking to make the most of it,” the founders of Major League Quadball said in an open letter to players.
The sport formerly known as Quidditch came to the Muggle world in 2005, when two Middlebury College students began playing it on their campus. The game is a mix of rugby and dodgeball, among others, and features hoops that players must pass the balls through. Players must be mounted on broomsticks throughout the game.
Since its founding, the sport has expanded to 40 countries and nearly 600 teams, according to the governing bodies.