Quidditch Gets Its New Name

JK Rowling's trans controversy makes its way to the sport
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2021 1:35 PM CST
Updated Jul 20, 2022 3:00 AM CDT
JK Rowling Trans Controversy Now Extends to Quidditch
Author J.K. Rowling appears at the world premiere of the film "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" in Paris in 2018.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

Update: Quidditch is now quadball, or soon will be. After announcing last year that the sport, a real-life version of the magical game JK Rowling dreamed up for the Harry Potter book series, would change its name in part to distance itself from the allegedly transphobic author, the sport's governing bodies announced the new name Tuesday. Quadball, a reference to the number of balls and positions used in the game, was selected after players and fans were surveyed, NBC News reports. For US Quidditch, the name change is effective immediately; for Major League Quidditch, it will come following the 2022 championships in August. The International Quidditch Association will also adopt the name across the globe. Our original story from Dec. 20, 2021, follows:

JK Rowling has taken much flak over views perceived as anti-trans, and the fallout just emerged in the most unusual of places: quidditch leagues. Two leagues in the US that play a version of the sport from the Harry Potter books announced they were changing their names in part to distance themselves from the author, reports the Guardian. "Our sport has developed a reputation as one of the most progressive sports in the world on gender equality and inclusivity," says a joint statement from US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch. The statement notes that copyright concerns over the word "quidditch" is also a factor in the switch to new names, which have yet to be selected.

A spokesperson for the Blair Partnership literary agency, where Rowling is a client, points out that the author never endorsed the leagues in the first place, per the BBC. Rowling has been embroiled in the controversy since 2020, after posting tweets—starting with this one—and an essay on trans and gender issues. In the essay, for example, she wrote that she is a survivor of sexual assault and is troubled by the idea of "single sex spaces." As for the quidditch leagues, they say will pick new names after the results of a survey come in. Possibilities include Quickball, Quicker, Quidstrike, and Quadraball, per the London Times. (More JK Rowling stories.)

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