Governing bodies of real-life sport Quidditch inspired by a magical game from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series proceeded with renaming the sport into Quadball, one of the reasons being to distance from the author’s controversial “anti-trans positions.”
In a joint news release publicized last December 15, 2021, U.S. Quidditch and Major League Quidditch announced plans to change the game’s name partly because of Rowling’s remarks on transgender issues they wish to distance from. Moreover, they also cited the production company of Harry Potter, Warner Brothers, for its trademark on the word “quidditch,” which limited their sponsorships and broadcasting opportunities, INQUIRER.net reported.
Last Tuesday, the two governing bodies released a statement concerning the renaming of the game. According to them, they took the said process seriously, calling it an outcome of “thousands of surveyed stakeholders all across the world, hundreds of volunteer hours, tens of discussions with legal teams, and the collaborative efforts of MLQ and USQ.”
Bringing positive light to the transition, they also stated that it “has opened so many doors, and our departments are already beginning the process of going through as many of them as possible to make our league and our sport the best that it can be.”
USQ immediately changed its name to US Quadball, while MLQ had set to adopt the change after their August 2022 Championship.
Meanwhile, another governing body named International Quidditch Association also announced an upcoming change in its name last Wednesday. However, what sets their statement apart was the mentioning of J.K. Rowling’s issue that the first two major organizations seemed to have dropped in their latest statement.
Giving weight to the consequences of the author’s “anti-trans positions” as their first reason for pursuing the name change, IQA mentioned big names among the many critics. First, they referred to the LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign, then proceeded with three lead actors in the Harry Potter film series, including Daniel Radcliffe, who played the leading role.
As reported by INQUIRER.net, Rowling created an outrage last 2020 after she posted tweets about transgender people. She criticized an opinion piece from a website for the global development community called Devex, which used the trans-sensitive phrase “people who menstruate.” Seeming to insist on using the word “woman” to refer to biological women, she criticized the platform’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate” by tweeting, “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”. The author’s tweets immediately drew backlash and resulted in major criticisms labeling her transphobic, an accusation that she continues to deny.
The new name for the sport, “Quadball,” came from the number of balls and players present on the field during every match. Adapted from the previously mentioned fictional game, the real-life Quidditch sport was first played in 2005 and currently has a massive 600 teams in over 40 countries.
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