QuidditchUK, the national governing body for the sport, backed a move by two American organisations to drop the name, citing Rowling’s “anti-trans positions”.
Actual real-life quidditch (yeah, it’s a real sport), birthed from the Harry Potter movies, have announced that they will be changing their name to “distance” themselves from JK Rowling, following her persistent anti-trans commentary.
Of course, Quidditch first appeared as a fictional sport in the Harry Potter books and then movies, but a real-life version played all around the world – by more than 450 teams in over 30 countries – has become a huge competitive sport, which features balls, hoops and broom-like sticks.
In a joint news release on Wednesday (December 15) US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch announced that they are officially taking steps to change the name of the game from Quidditch to something else that’s less associated with the author.
MLQ Commissioner Amanda Dallas said in the statement: “For the last year or so, both leagues have been quietly collecting research to prepare for the move and been in extensive discussions with each other and trademark lawyers regarding how we can work together to make the name change as seamless as possible.”
The joint statement went on to say: “Our sport has developed a reputation as one of the most progressive sports in the world on gender equality and inclusivity, in part thanks to its gender maximum rule, which stipulates that a team may not have more than four players of the same gender on the field at a time.”
“Both organizations feel it is imperative to live up to this reputation in all aspects of their operations and believe this move is a step in that direction.”
According to a report by The Times possible alternative names put forward by USQ include Quickball, Quicker, Quidstrike and Quadraball.
Quidditch is currently the only full-contact mixed-gender sport in the world and prides itself on being “greatly encouraging” to trans and non-binary competitors.
On Monday (December 20), QuidditchUK announced they were backing the above US proposals to rename the game, saying in a statement:
“The issues surrounding both the Warner Brothers trademark and JK Rowling’s remarks and statements against the transgender members of our community have accelerated this desire to move our branding away from the ‘quidditch’ name and shift towards our own identity.
“Quidditch as it is played in the United Kingdom and throughout the world has been steadily growing further beyond Harry Potter and the wider franchise, and this shift will allow more opportunities for growth, sponsorship and expansion outside of current events and operations.
“More importantly, distancing ourselves from JK Rowling will cement the sport and community as the inclusive space it already is. Since our inception the inclusion of all persons, regardless of race, sex, gender identity, or background has been a cornerstone of our sport.”
Well played, Quidditch!