Quidditch's Rebrand Moves It Even Further Away From The Harry Potter Universe

Every once in a very long time, a franchise comes along that enters the public consciousness and changes it forever. When it does, language itself can be fundamentally altered as new words come into play.

Merriam-Webster, for instance, reports that the first known use of the word "d'oh" occurred in 1945. However, how many people were really aware of this word (which is defined as being "used to express sudden recognition of a foolish blunder or an ironic turn of events") before the arrival of the hilariously bumbling Homer Simpson, iconic "The Simpsons" star?

The Harry Potter series has been similarly influential, making a smorgasbord of fantastical words as familiar as any other. We all know what Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Gryffindor mean, and what Quidditch is, whether we want to or not. Nevertheless, the Wizarding World, linked as it is to the figure of J.K. Rowling, continues to evolve. The sport of Quidditch is one such term that is going to be known by a new name — at least the Muggle version, that is.

The phenomenon of real-life Quidditch

Quidditch, as even Muggles will know, is the world's most popular magical sport. In the "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" novel, the boy wizard himself described the sport as an interesting take on basketball, only played in the air on broomsticks and with lots of different hoops.

As the series became the phenomenon that it did (in 2018, Wizarding World reported that an astonishing half a billion copies of the books had been sold), it was inevitable that so-called Potterheads would try to find ways to play Quidditch for themselves. The game has attracted a huge following in its own right, and you don't really need to be a witch or wizard to play.

The issue has been, however, developing ways of supporting the sport without also supporting the franchise's creator, J.K. Rowling. To do this, per NPR, leagues have rebranded their beloved sport, which now goes by the name of Quadball. This avoids potential legal troubles with the name, too. 

Here's wishing Quadball more success than ever

In July 2022, Major League Quadball published an official statement from the league's founders. It explained that the renaming to Quadball "is the result of thousands of surveyed stakeholders all across the world, hundreds of volunteer hours, tens of discussions with legal teams, and the collaborative efforts of MLQ and USQ."

Along with U.S. Quadball, the group deemed the anti-trans views expressed by the series creator to be a reason for the change (per NPR). Quadball is its own endeavor, with its own passionate community, separate from the reputation of the author.

"Quadball is a sport for all. Chaos is a part of its charm," the MLQ website proudly proclaims. It certainly sounds like a blast, too: Seekers must catch a designated "snitch runner," Beaters throw "slightly-deflated dodgeballs" at opposing players (who must release the ball they're holding and retreat back to their team's hoops on taking a hit), and all players 'ride' brooms (yes, on the ground) throughout the matches.

Major League Quadball is indeed rather major, with the Benepe Cup featuring the best 12 teams in North America. The Take Back The Pitch Tournament is of vital importance too, an enormous step forward for inclusivity. The objective of it, per the official website, is "to highlight and lift up athletes that are overlooked by their teams and in the community on account of sex and gender, and give them the leadership opportunities, playing time, and diverse skill training they deserve all the time."