Earlier this week, the founders of US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch announced they are rebranding the organizations as US Quadball and Major League Quadball. The sport’s international governing body, the International Quidditch Association, will also be adopting the new name. This move is in protest of anti-transgender comments made by JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
According to a news post on the official US Quadball website, the rebrand is in service of two goals. The first is to protest the anti-transgender stance of Rowling. The other is to allow the sport to continue to expand without the worry of trademark infringement (Warner Bros. currently owns the Harry Potter IP).
“In less than 20 years, our sport 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,” said USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball. “Our organizations are committed to continuing to push quadball forward.”
Quadball is a real-life sport based on the game Quidditch from the Harry Potter books. Players navigate the field while mounted on a broom (i.e. holding it between their legs) as they compete to score the most points. The game was first translated from the page to real life in 2005 by Middlebury College students Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe. It’s now played around the world.
Since 2019, Rowling has been garnering criticism for her transphobic social and political stances, leaving millions of Harry Potter fans unsure of how to continue to embrace the fictional world that they love. The developers of the upcoming game Hogwarts Legacy have publicly tried to distance themselves from Rowling in an effort to keep fans from boycotting the game.