The game of Quidditch, which was invented by J.K. Rowling for her Harry Potter novels, has a real-life counterpart based on the rules set by the popular children’s author. The game, which has enjoyed some measure of popularity among fans of the books, is getting a name change due to opposition to Rowling’s political views.
In an effort to distance itself from the author, the game of Quidditch will now be known as “quadball,” which the sport’s British governing body, QuidditchUK (QUK) called a “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,” QUK stated, the LBC reported Thursday.
“More importantly, distancing ourselves from J.K. Rowling will cement the sport and community as the inclusive space it already is,” QUK stated. “Since our inception the inclusion of all persons, regardless of race, sex, gender identity, or background has been a cornerstone of our sport.”
The statement, which was endorsed by the International Quidditch Association and Major League Quidditch, said Rowling, who is “under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions,” and the sport’s desire to grow beyond its niche reputation, played factors in the decision.
The game, which enjoys growing popularity worldwide, now hosts 600 teams in 40 countries. It has never received official endorsement by the author.
“Quidditch is described as a full-contact mixed-gender sport and it encourages those who identify with the trans and non-binary community to take part,” the BBC reported.
In real-life, the sport is played with players running with brooms between their legs to emulate the flying broomstick in the Harry Potter books and films.
Rowling maintains that she is motivated to speak out about transgender issues because of her personal experiences with domestic abuse and sexual assault. Her critics, who refer to her as a “TERF,” insist that she hates transgendered people.