Reporter blocked from asking Harry Potter actor Tom Felton about JK Rowling
Sky News

Real-life Quidditch leagues have changed their names in order to distance themselves from the controversial author JK Rowling.

The game of Quidditch is based on the fictional game Rowling penned in the Harry Potter books, but the sport's governing bodies have altered the name in order to “distance themselves from the works” of Rowling.

In an announcement, US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch revealed they are both rebranding by changing the word Quidditch to “Quadball”, citing the fact Rowling “has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years” as one reason.

Another motivation for the name change is that “quidditch” is trademarked by the American film company Warner Bros. which produced the Harry Potter films, limiting the sport’s ability to grow.

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

In December last year, the groups revealed their intention to change the name of the sport and, having surveyed players and fans on the sport, they have since announced the new name of Quadball.

MLQ co-commissioner Amanda Dallas said in a statement: “Bringing 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.”

The real-life game was created by Alex Benepe and Xander Manshel at Middlebury College in Vermont in 2005.

On the name change, Benepe said: “For me personally there is definitely some nostalgia to the original name, but from a long term development perspective I feel confident this is a smart decision for the future that will allow the sport to grow without limits into its own unique space for many years to come.”

Rowling has faced accusations of transphobia for more than two years and has been at the centre of many social media storms after voicing controversial opinions about transgender people.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)