Quidditch leagues to choose new name after JK Rowling trans row

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JK Rowling has faced criticism from activists over her views on trans issues (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)
JK Rowling has faced criticism from activists over her views on trans issues (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

Two real-life Quidditch organisations are changing their names to “distance” the sport from JK Rowling because of her views on transgender issues.

Quidditch, inspired by the Harry Potter books, was first played by ‘muggles’ in the United States in 2007, and has since become increasingly popular.

It is a fast-paced contact sport, with more than 450 teams in over 30 countries. It requires players to keep a broom between their legs at all times.

US Quidditch (USQ) and Major League Quidditch (MLQ) will conduct surveys in the next few months to decide the new name, they announced in a joint statement this week.

It said: “The leagues are hoping a name change can help them continue to distance themselves from the works of JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years.

“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.

“Both organisations feel it is imperative to live up to this reputation in all aspects of their operations and believe this move is a step in the right direction.”

The Keele Squirrels (in green) play the Radcliffe Chimeras during the Crumpet Cup quidditch tournament on Clapham Common on February 18, 2017 in London, England (Getty Images)
The Keele Squirrels (in green) play the Radcliffe Chimeras during the Crumpet Cup quidditch tournament on Clapham Common on February 18, 2017 in London, England (Getty Images)

A Quidditch team consists of seven players: three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and one seeker.

The teams throw bludgers, pass quaffles and chase the snitch whilst trying to score points by throwing balls into three rings.

JK Rowling received heavy criticism from activists last year after mocking the use of the phrase "people who menstruate" in menstrual health guidance.

The author was also subjected to abuse for criticising the view that male and female sexes do not exist. She argued that "erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives".

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