Quidditch name is now quadball, in JK Rowling’s reproach for trans rights


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LONDON. The sport coined by British writer J.K. Rowling in her hugely popular Harry Potter series, in which witches and wizards fly around on broomsticks while trying to score goals, is being renamed.

The fictional game has been a Muggle sensation for over a decade now, and is played as a booming mixed contact sport around the world.

As part of an effort to distance the sport from its creator, who has drawn controversy over her views on transgender issues, the International Quidditch Association (IQA) has announced that the sport will now be known as quadball.

“This is an important moment in the history of our sport,” said Chris Lau, Chairman of the IQA Board of Trustees. “We are confident in this step and look forward to all the new possibilities that the quad will bring.”

The Global Organization said that one of the main reasons for the name change was that Rowling is “increasingly under fire for her anti-trans stance”. It lists LGBTQ advocacy groups who have been critical of the writer, as well as major actors who have appeared in the hugely popular Harry Potter films who have also been critical of her views.

IQA stated that the second reason for the name change was trademarks and licensing. The Quidditch brand is owned by the entertainment company Warner Bros., and the organizers want to use the quadball trademark to continue making the game “the backbone of organized sport.”

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Rowling, 56, caused a social media storm after sharing her opinion on Twitter and then writing a lengthy personal essay on transgender issues, prompting many in the LGBT community to accuse her of being transphobic. Rowling said she supports transgender rights and is a longtime donor to LGBTQ charities, but she doesn’t believe in “erasing” the concept of biological sex.

She has not publicly commented on the name change, but earlier this month she tweeted“Like many women on the left, I am frustrated that so many self-described liberals turn a blind eye to the open misogyny of the gender identity movement and the threat it poses to the rights of women and girls.” Rowling, who could not be contacted for comment early Wednesday morning, added: “I believe that women are subject to certain harms and have special needs, and that feminism is necessary to ensure and protect our rights.”

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Actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who played the trio of best friends Harry, Hermione and Ron respectively on the set of the legendary Hogwarts school, publicly distanced themselves from Rowling’s comments and said they supported the trans community.

The proposal to change the sport’s name was first made in March, and thousands of players around the world were asked about the new name, IQA said, before they settled on the quad, which refers to both the number of balls and the number of positions. used in sports.

Quidditch took off from the pages and was adapted to the real field in 2005 when it was first played at Middlebury College in Vermont. The rules were gradually codified and in 2007 the sport became popular.

According to the IQA, it currently has about 600 teams in 40 countries and is often broadcast on television and online.

Seven players on each team, including hunters, beaters, and a seeker (Harry Potter’s own position), attempt to drive a Quaffle ball through the opponent’s rings. Instead of flying, players run with surrogate brooms placed between their legs as they push, catch, defend and grab to score points and win.

“The broom adds a level of skill and challenge to the sport with a handicap that works the same way you have to pass the ball back in rugby or you can only hit the ball” in football, according to QuidditchUK, the sport’s governing body in the UK. Britannia.

The sport is “unique as the only full-contact mixed sport in the world, especially for those who identify with transgender or non-binary communities,” according to the QuidditchUK website. “We welcome this inclusion of those who belong to LGBTQ+ communities and strongly encourage everyone, regardless of background, to take part in our sport.”

Major League Quidditch, a league in the United States and Canada, and American Quidditch, the sport’s governing body in the United States, are also part of the name change.

“Quadball is not just a new name, it is a symbol of the future of a sport without limits,” the founders of Major League Quidditch wrote in a letter posted online on Tuesday. “With his help, we hope to turn the sport into exactly what it aspires to be: something for everyone.”

Major League Quidditch said “this name change was no easy feat” and expects to renew franchises by the fall and continue with brand changes for the remainder of the year. The sport’s name change “opens up unprecedented opportunities for growth, dating and partnerships,” the group added.

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In the UK, QuidditchUK said it fully supported the rebrand, calling it “a great moment in the evolution of our sport”.

“The name change demonstrates the strong stance of our trans players and contributors, and also gives us a stronger legal footing and opens up more opportunities for funding and external partners,” its website says. Quidditch’s rebranding will continue this year, and players should also look forward to changing ball names as part of the overhaul. The name of the Snitch, the magical golden ball in the books, and the role of the person in the game will also be changed.

Rowling’s Harry Potter books, first published in 1997, have become a bedtime staple for many children and a global phenomenon, with movies, theme parks and merchandise.

The stories follow the orphaned wizard Harry, who, along with his classmates, is trying to save the wizarding world from Voldemort’s nemesis. The hugely popular books have sold over 500 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over 80 languages.

The next international Quidditch tournament will take place this weekend in Limerick, Ireland, with teams from Europe, Australia and Hong Kong, according to IQA.

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