The group formerly known as Major League Quidditch has officially changed its name to Major League Quadball. The leagueit planned to change its name in an effort to both distance itself from Harry Potter creator J.K Rowling and increase opportunities that had been squashed under trademark issues.
The real life game, played using broomsticks, combines rugby, basketball, and dodgeball. It is based off the game of Quidditch, which was created by Rowling in the “Harry Potter” series.
According to a statement from MLQ’s founders, the new name was chosen by thousands of surveyed stakeholders in collaboration with United States Quidditch, the national governing body for the sport. USQ will also now be known as U.S. Quadball.
The intent to change the name of the league was first announced in December 2021, following intense and repeated controversy surrounding Rowling’s comments and beliefs about transgender women and their place in the feminist movement, which many fans have labeled.
“The leagues are hoping a name change can help them continue to distance themselves from the works of J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years,” the organizations said in the December statement.
The organizations said the sport has “developed a reputation as one of the most progressive sports in the world on gender equality and inclusivity,” in part because of a “gender maximum” rule, which states that no team may have more than four players of the same gender on the field at any given time.
“Both organizations feel it is imperative to live up to this reputation in all aspects of their operations and believe this move is a step in that direction,” the December statement said. It added that the name change would also resolve trademark problems, given that the new name would not be trademarked by Warner Bros.
The league was less explicit about the reasons for the change in its Tuesday statement, but said “No one person or organization owns the future of quadball, and it was vitally important to us, as well as to USQ, that the entire community would leave its mark on this momentous change.”
“Quadball isn’t just a new name, it’s a symbol for a future for the sport without limitations,” the statement added. “With it, we hope to turn the sport into exactly what it aspires to be: something for all.”