For those who aren’t aware, quidditch is an actual sport you can play in real life. Having originated in J.K. Rowling‘s “Harry Potter” series, the real-life version involves straddling broomsticks and running around with balls across a pitch rather than flying through the air. It’s sort of like rugby on hobby-horses, and it’s become massively popular in the US.
Three major organizations that promote and manage the sport are changing the name of the game to quadball. The International Quidditch Association (IQA) and US Quidditch (USQ), which are governing bodies for the sport, joined Major League Quidditch (MLQ), a semi-professional league with 16 teams in the U.S. and Canada, in announcing the official name change.
This call for change has two major driving factors. The first is copyright. USQ and MLQ have been previously reported that they have lost “sponsorship and broadcast opportunities” because Warner Bros. Pictures owns the copyright for the word quidditch. USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball noted the shift to quadball would allow the sport, which “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…in less than 20 years,” to continue to push forward.
The second reason is Rowling herself. As the author’s steady decline into TERF-dom continues, her latest bout of transphobic comments prompted various groups to finalize the name-changing process they started back in December of 2021. Jack McGovern, a spokesman for USQ and MLQ, has stressed they’ve “tried to be clear that [the name change] is for both reasons. We did not intend to give a value judgement about which reason was more important than the other.”
The new name quadball refers to the number of balls in play and the number of positions on both sides. We welcome the decision to quid-ditch the old name and all the baggage it brought with it.