Quidditch, the real-life game played by wizards in “Harry Potter,” has cut ties with J.K. Rowling and the franchise by rebranding to quadball, Major League Quadball (MLQ) and U.S. Quidditch (USQ) announced Tuesday.
“Quadball isn’t just a new name, it’s a symbol for a future for the sport without limitations,” the MLQ founders wrote in statement. “With it, we hope to turn the sport into exactly what it aspires to be: something for all.”
The sport’s new name distances its affiliation with author J.K. Rowling, who came under scrutiny for making anti-trans remarks that left “Harry Potter” fans unhappy with her ties to the franchise.
“The name change 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,” the statement continues.
In Dec. 2021, MLQ announced that MLQ and USQ had “begun the process of selecting a new name for the real-life version of quidditch.” The release noted that the sport’s name, trademarked by Warner Bros., had “limited the sport’s expansion, including but not limited to sponsorship and broadcast opportunities.”
USQ and MLQ also cited Rowling’s anti-trans comments as a reason for the move, citing its goal to push for progressive values in its sport. As an example, MLQ cites its gender equality rule that stipulates that no more than four players of one gender may be on the field at any given time.
Along with the name change, the MLQ announced that it will revamp the franchises’ footprint and roll out a “pilot program for MLQ Next Up, our league’s own youth day camp, in Howard County, Md.” beginning in summer 2023.
“This name change is a game changer for us, and we are looking to make the most of it,” said the statement.