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UK Quidditch league takes ‘firm stance’ with trans players with new Quadball name

Quidditch leagues in the US have also changed the sports name.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Twitter/@QuidditchUK

QuidditchUK has joined in with US land international leagues to change the sport’s name to Quadball in an attempt to distance themselves from the Harry Potter author JK Rowling over her views on sex and gender. 

On Tuesday (19 July) US Quidditch released a lengthy statement outlining the change and that Major League Quadball (MLQ) and the International Quidditch Association (IQA), the international governing body, would also change their names. 

USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball says, “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.”

“Our organizations are committed to continuing to push quadball forward.”

It goes on to say that the decision to change the name was made for two reasons. 

“First, J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions. LGBTQ+ advocacy groups like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign as well as the three lead actors in the Harry Potter film series have criticized her stances,” it reads.

MLQ Co-Commissioner Amanda Dallas adds that the name ‘Quidditch’ is a trademark of Warner Bros and by changing the sport’s name gives the league’s “full creative control of the name of our sport to the vibrant community of players and fans that has grown and sustained it will allow our organizations to take the next step.”

“We are now able to pursue the kinds of opportunities that our community has dreamed about for years.”

In a tweet, they say: “Welcome to a new era!”

In its own statement, Quidditch UK says, “QuidditchUK support this great moment in the development of our sport, which is both symbolically and practically significant.

“The name change indicates a firm stance with our trans players and members, as well as giving us more firm legal footing and opening up greater opportunities for funding and external partners.”

The statement also says the name was the second most popular choice when its members were polled. It also states that the names of the balls used in Quadball will also be changed with more details expected soon. 

“We intend to move ahead with the QUK rebrand later this year, and will provide guidance for clubs alongside this,” the statement closes. 

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The sport was adapted from the Harry Potter series in 2005 and there are around 600 teams worldwide. 

There are 21 players in a team with a squad consisting of three chasers, one keeper, two beaters, and a seeker with each player holding a broom between their legs during play. 

The QuidditchUK website boasts: “Quidditch is unique as the only full-contact, mixed-gender sport in the world, especially to those who identify with the trans or non-binary communities. We celebrate that inclusion of those from the LGBTQ+ communities, and greatly encourage anyone from any background to take part it in our sport.”

JK Rowling has become increasingly known for her views on sex and gender as well as her remarks about trans people. 

In 2020, the writer mocked men who menstruate and published an essay where she cited concerns about single-sex spaces such as bathrooms and changing rooms and that she has “deep concerns about the effect the trans rights movement”.

Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are among those to have come out against the author’s views. 

The IQA European Games 2022 are due to take place in Limerick, Ireland on 23-24 July and will feature 20 teams from Europe, Australia, and Hong Kong.

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.