(The Hill) — Three major organizations that promote and manage the sport of quidditch announced on Tuesday they are changing the name of the game to quadball, partly to distance themselves from “Harry Potter” author and quidditch creator J.K. Rowling.
The International Quidditch Association (IQA) and US Quidditch (USQ), which are the governing bodies for the sport, joined Major League Quidditch (MLQ), a semi-professional league with 16 teams in the U.S. and Canada, in announcing the official name change.
Quadball, which refers to the number of balls on the field as well as the number of positions, garnered enthusiastic support among the sport’s community in surveys, according to the groups.
IQA, USQ and MLQ made the decision to rebrand for two reasons: One was to distance themselves from Rowling, who has made several comments criticized as transphobic. The second was to trademark a unique name because film and media production company Warner Bros. owns the trademark for “quidditch.”
In the U.S., both the USQ and MLQ will own the trademark for “quadball.” USQ is transitioning immediately to change its organizational name in order to swap out quidditch for quadball, while MLQ will officially adopt quadball into its name next month.
USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball said quadball has grown significantly and the organizations were “committed to continuing to push quadball forward.”
“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,” Kimball said in a statement.
Both USQ and MLQ filed to change the name back in December after polling both players and fans on the idea.
The IQA expects to enter into a license agreement to use “quadball” and will adopt the term into its name in the near future.
Chris Lau, the chair of the IQA Board of Trustees, said he was “thrilled” to be a part of the movement to change the name.
“We are confident in this step and we look forward to all the new opportunities quadball will bring,” Lau said in a statement. “This is an important moment in our sport’s history.”
The game of quidditch was adapted from the “Harry Potter” series in 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont. The sport has now grown to around 600 teams across 40 countries.