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The magical sport of quidditch (made mortal by muggles at Vt.'s Middlebury College) gets a new name

A photo of a person jumping with a broom between their legs, their arm outstretched with a ball going over a round hoop. The person, ball and hoop are silhouetted against a sun and wispy clouds in the sky.
Tina Fineberg
Associated Press File
The International Quidditch Association, the international governing body for real-life (muggle) version of the magical sport of quidditch invented by J.K Rowling in her Harry Potter books, announced it would change the sport's name to quadball following transphobic comments by Rowling. It follows US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch, which have also made the change.

The high-flying magical sport first played in real life by students at Middlebury College has a new name.

Quidditch — a reference to the sporting game played in the Harry Potter universe — will now be called quadball worldwide.

The rebrand was announced this week by the International Quidditch Association (IQA). It follows similar changes made by the sport's other governing bodies, US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch.

In a statement, the group said the name change was taken in part to distance itself from book series author J.K. Rowling. Rowling has come under fire for making transphobic remarks.

“I’m excited for the opportunities this will create and the potential for quadball to continue to grow into a mainstay of organized sports."
Andy Marmer, International Quidditch Association

The group also said it hoped its new name could help it grow in the future.

“I’m excited for the opportunities this will create and the potential for quadball to continue to grow into a mainstay of organized sports," said Andy Marmer, IQA interim chief of staff and chair of the IQA name change committee, in a press release.

The sport, which in the Harry Potter universe is played between two teams of seven players on broomsticks, features a variety of balls — two bludgers, the quaffle and the snitch. (Harry, like his father, was a very good Seeker.)

More from Vermont Public: Middlebury College hosts Quidditch World Cup

In 2005, the fictional became real, when two Middlebury College students — Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe — created the mortal version of the sport.

It's played with four balls and with four positions on the field, which lent itself to the quadball name.

In the decades since, it has exploded in popularity. According to the IQA, the sport is played by nearly 600 teams in 40 countries.

Have questions, comments or tips?Send us a message or tweet editor Brittany Patterson @amusedbrit.

Brittany Patterson joined Vermont Public in December 2020. Previously, she was an energy and environment reporter for West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the Ohio Valley ReSource. Prior to that, she covered public lands, the Interior Department and forests for E&E News' ClimateWire, based in Washington, D.C. Brittany also teaches audio storytelling and has taught classes at West Virginia University, Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont. She holds degrees in journalism from San Jose State University and U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. A native of California, Brittany has fallen in love with Vermont. She enjoys hiking, skiing, baking and cuddling with her rescues, a 95-pound American Bulldog mix named Cooper, and Mila, the most beautiful calico cat you'll ever meet.
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