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The quidditch world has spoken: quidditch renamed quadball

The popular sport originally from the wizarding world of “Harry Potter” cuts ties to author J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros “to grow into a mainstay of organized sports”

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University of Utah Quidditch players Danika Liou, Nathan Liou, and Alex Cervantes practice at Reservoir Park in Salt Lake City on July 5, 2019.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

The sport inspired by the wizarding world of Harry Potter will undergo a name change from “quidditch” to “quadball” on a worldwide basis.

J.K. Rowling is the author of “Harry Potter” and the creator of the fictional game of quidditch, full of magic-infused flying broomsticks and balls to throw into hoops.

Now adapted for a nonmagical world, the International Quidditch Association stated that the sport now has nearly 600 teams in 40 countries since it was first organized in 2005 by Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe, who eventually founded U.S. Quidditch.

There are now three major entities of quidditch in the world: The largest is the International Quidditch Association and the smaller two are U.S. Quidditch and Major League Quidditch.

IQA and MLQ announced the change in a letter posted on each of their websites on Tuesday.

The organizations are changing their names to Major League Quadball and U.S. Quadball immediately, while the International Quidditch Association will undergo a name change in “the near future” according to The Guardian.

“Quadball isn’t just a new name, it’s a symbol for a future for the sport without limitations. With it, we hope to turn the sport into exactly what it aspires to be: something for all,” wrote Ethan Sturm and Amanda Dallas, founders of MLQ.

One reason for the name change, according to the letter from the international association, is the “scrutiny for (J.K. Rowling’s) anti-trans positions.”

In 2020, Rowling wrote a response to many allegations calling her words “transphobic.”

Some within the transgender community and supporters still feel uncomfortable with the issue, according to The New York Times.

With all the bustle around Rowling and transphobia, a mark was made on the sport. But Rowling was not the only reason for the switch, The New York Times reported.

USQ and MLQ cited the loss of business from missed “sponsorship and broadcast opportunities” due to trademark issues in a statement made in December 2021.

In a 2017 interview for the Quidditch Post, Benepe said that Warner Bros trademarked the term “quidditch” and didn’t allow the teams to sell any merchandise with the wording displayed.

“We’ve tried to be clear that it’s both reasons,” USQ and MLQ spokesman Jack McGovern told The New York Times. “We did not intend to give a value judgment about which reason was more important than the other.”

Either way, rebranding will follow the name change for the organizations and the sport will have more room to grow than before.

The name “quadball” was chosen because it reflects the number of balls used and the four positions played, according to IQA.

“We are confident in this step and we look forward to all the new opportunities quadball will bring,” said Chris Lau, chair of IQA’s board of trustees. “This is an important moment in our sport’s history.”