Quidditch, the real-life “sport” based on the made-up sport, is seeking to move away from associations with its creator, superstar Harry Potter author-turned-widely despised TERF-y tweeter J.K. Rowling. Two official Quidditch organizations announced last week that they were seeking a name change for the sport in the hopes of securing more sponsorship and broadcast opportunities, as well as to “distance themselves from the works of J.K. Rowling … who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years,” per a news release joint-published by US Quidditch (USQ) and Major League Quidditch (MLQ).
“Our sport has developed a reputation as one of the most progressive sports in the world on gender equality and inclusivity, in part thanks to its gender maximum rule, which stipulates that a team may not have more than four players of the same gender on the field at a time,” the organizations wrote in the statement. “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.”
As a refresher for those who do not have the rules of real Quidditch — that is, the imaginary version — burned into their brains from participating heavily in the Harry Potter fandom during their formative years, this is a team sport played on flying broomsticks, in which Chasers shoot Quaffles through goal-hoops for points, Beaters send Bludgers hurling at opponents, and Seekers hunt for the elusive golden Snitch. The real-life version is basically like that, except it is played on the ground, with regular broomsticks clenched between players’ thighs.
And as a refresher for those who have not spared a single thought toward J.K. Rowling since the last time she did something of literary significance (revealing that Dumbledore is gay), the author has burned through a remarkable amount of fan and public goodwill in the past few years as her flirtation with “gender critical” feminism has morphed into a fixation on “biological sex” and a full-blown panic about trans activism.
USQ and MLQ are apparently only entertaining new names that will allow them to keep their current acronyms. Potential names they listed on an open survey include Quickball, Quadball, Quicker, Quidball, Quidstrike, and Quadrabell. May I suggest, instead, Broomyball? Sweephoop? Seekersweeper? Snitchass? FKA-JKR-stan-ball? I’m not a naming expert. My point is, don’t feel married to “Q.” In fact, in today’s environment, there are few letters I would recommend less for a rebrand.