Quidditch renamed to distance sport from JK Rowling's transgender comments

Quidditch has been renamed. Credit: PA

Quidditch, the sport made famous in the popular Harry Potter books, will be renamed to distance it from author JK Rowling.

The governing body for Quidditch in the UK announced the move in December last year following the writer’s “hateful” comments on gender identity.

The broomstick-borne sport of Quidditch was influenced by Rowling’s best-selling wizard novels and invented in the United States in 2005, before taking off in the UK.

It will be now be called Quadball, after a poll carried out by the US chapter of the sport resulted in the new name in July.

Quidditch is the only full-contact mixed-gender sport in the world, “greatly encouraging” those who identify with the trans and non-binary community to partake.

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In a statement, Quidditch UK said: “Quidditch UK support this great moment in the development of our sport, which is both symbolically and practically significant.

“The name change indicates a firm stance with our trans players and members, as well as giving us more firm legal footing and opening up greater opportunities for funding and external partners.”

Quadball was the second most popular name in the UK, according to the group, and the balls and the snitch [a golden ball players try to grab hold of to win the game] will also be renamed.

On Monday, QuidditchUK announced they were supporting proposals by US Quidditch to rename the sport, after the writer attracted criticism for her views on gender identity.

In the past, Rowling, 56, has said she was partly motivated to speak out about transgender issues because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Critics have accused the writer of being transphobic, an allegation which she strongly denies.

The author has also been publicly criticised by Harry Potter stars including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who were set to reunite for a TV special 20 years after the first film in the series was screened.

Following the announcement last year, a spokesperson from The Blair Partnership, the writers’ agency, has said: “The Quidditch Premier League, US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch have never been endorsed or licensed by JK Rowling.”