Real-life Quidditch changing name over JK Rowling’s anti-trans views

jk rowling harry potter quidditch sport transgender
Image: Supplied, US Quidditch League/YouTube

The real-life sport of quidditch will change its name to distance itself from Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s “anti-trans positions.”

In 2005, the sport made the jump from Rowling’s book series to real life. University students in the US adapted the game for real-life sports fields.

Athletes in around 40 countries now play quidditch, including in Australia. In the US, there are over 100 official adult and college teams across the country.

But US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch said they’re now changing the name.

They explained this was because of both trademark issues and to “distance” themselves from Rowling, “who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years.”

“Our sport has developed a reputation as one of the most progressive sports in the world on gender equality and inclusivity,” they explained.

“[This is] 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.”

US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch said they both “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.”

In quidditch, two teams have seven players each on the field, with broomsticks between their legs at all times.

While in Harry Potter the players fly; in real-life, the players run.

Players score by throwing a volleyball through three hoops at either end of the field. At the same time, they must dodge balls other players are throwing to stop them.

Trademark issues also behind Quidditch name change

The USQ and MLQ added that changing the name would also allow new sponsorship and broadcast opportunities. They couldn’t not currently available because Warner Bros holds the trademark on “quidditch”.

New names the two organisations suggest in a survey they’re conducting include “Quickball,” “Quidstrike,” and “Quadraball.”

Harry Potter author JK Rowling made headlines last year for social media commentary on transgender people.

Her views on gender identity, transitioning and trans healthcare were widely slammed as transphobic and misinformative.

Rowling’s comments devastated many Harry Potter fans, including many in the LGBTIQ community.

At the time, the stars of the Harry Potter films weighed in with support for the trans community.

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