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Quidditch Leagues Reveal Name Change In Effort To Distance From ‘Harry Potter’ Author J.K. Rowling

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Federico Magonio / Shutterstock
J.K. Rowling, Quidditch, Quadball

Quidditch — the fantastical sport that originated from the beloved fiction series “Harry Potter” —  has been growing in popularity in recent years, catching the eyes of Harry Potter fans and sports fans alike.

In an international effort to add more growth potential to the sport and separate from J.K. Rowling, the three largest Quidditch associations have made an executive decision that was a long-time coming: changing the name of the sport for good.

What is Quidditch named now?

The sport will now be called Quadball.

The United States Quadball Association (USQ), Major League Quadball (MLQ), and International Quadball Association (IQA) teamed up to poll both fans and players and landed on “Quadball.”

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The motive behind the Quidditch name change is twofold.

Quadball changes the association of the sport with Harry Potter without drastically changing the identity of the game — "Quadball" refers to the four different player positions as well as the four game balls, all of which will require name changes as well.

Bridging the gap between a “fictional sport” and “competitive sport” is hard when all people think about when they hear “Quidditch” is “How do you fly?” but there are a few other reasons why the three largest Quidditch associations have decided to change the name of the sport for good.

RELATED: What J.K. Rowling Has Said About Transgender People — And Why She's Now Getting Death Threats On Twitter

They also want to separate the sport from J.K. Rowling’s dangerous transphobic views.

Quadball boasts the fact that is a gender-inclusive sport.

In the Quadball rulebook, an adaptation of “Title IX” exists, titled “Title 9 ¾,” which is a reference to the platform where Harry Potter first got on the train to Hogwarts.

Title IX aimed to ban discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs in the US, most famously used in conjunction with college athletics, but it wasn’t perfect.

“Through Title 9 ¾, USQ is more inclusive to transgender and nonbinary individuals by using gender as opposed to sex in policies,” reads the USQ website.

Rowling has infamously expressed her transphobic beliefs to the world and has been publicly criticized by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign.

If the sport truly wishes to reach gender equality on all fronts, then separating itself from the transphobia of its creator was a necessary step.

The growth of Quidditch can only come from changing the name as well.

The trademark for “Quidditch” is owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., and therefore cannot be used for any monetary gain unless explicitly given consent by WB.

“Bringing full creative control of the name of our sport to the vibrant community of players and fans that has grown and sustained it will allow our organizations to take the next step,” said MLQ Co-Commissioner Amanda Dallas.

“We are now able to pursue the kinds of opportunities that our community has dreamed about for years.”

This means sponsorships, partnerships, opportunities for players to be paid for their efforts on the field, and the sport finally being taken seriously on a much larger scale. 

The sport has already grown from “a few dozen college students in rural Vermont,” as described by Mary Kimball, Executive Director of USQ, to nearly 600 teams in 40 different countries, so why not continue that growth and turn it into a worldwide sensation?

Of course, that kind of popularity wouldn’t come overnight, but changing the name of the sport finally allows that possibility to exist in the first place.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Since graduating from Rutgers University, he spends most of his free time gaming or playing a (no-longer-fictional) sport. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.