Muggle Quidditch Bodies in the United States to Change Name of Sport
In the United States, US Quidditch (USQ) and Major League Quidditch (MLQ) have begun the joint process of changing the name of the sport of Muggle quidditch and picking a new one.
Muggle quidditch was created in October 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont by Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe and was inspired by Quidditch in the Harry Potter books. The sport has grown since then, expanding across the country and around the world. The exact number of teams currently is unknown, but it is guessed that there are nearly 600 teams in 40 countries.
USQ is the governing body of the sport in the United States and was created as the formal leadership of the sport in 2010. It served as an international governing body until 2014, when the International Quidditch Association (IQA) was created and split from USQ. A year after that, MLQ was created, which is now a 16-team league and the highest level of competitive Muggle quidditch games in North America.
Both organizations, USQ and MLQ, will conduct surveys over the next few months that should help them with making decisions about the new name. The IQA isn’t part of this decision, and its opinion on the name change isn’t known yet. There is a possibility that the sport in the United States might have a different name than in the rest of the world. There is already one difference: In the United States, players play by the USQ rulebook and not by the IQA rulebook.
The main reason USQ and MLQ decided to start with the change is because J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, created controversy with her statements on the transgender community. That is a problem for Muggle quidditch, which is based on equality and inclusivity for all genders and has developed a reputation as one of the most progressive sports. (This is largely because of the sport’s gender maximum rule, where only four people of the same gender can be on the pitch at the same time.) The Muggle quidditch community also strongly supports the LGBTQIA+ community, and MLQ has started a tournament for cis and trans women, non-binary people, and trans men this year.
Changing the sport’s name might help it grow. After the change, there won’t be problems with copyright. This is also the opinion of USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball.
I believe quidditch is at a turning point. We can continue the status quo and stay relatively small, or we can make big moves and really propel this sport forward into its next phase.
MLQ co-commissioner Amanda Dallas agrees with that.
USQ and MLQ need to seize opportunities for exposure in order to grow, and the name of the sport is currently limiting the range of possibilities.
USQ and MLQ hope that the initial survey process will be finished at the end of January 2022. After that, the new name will be announced. It will also depend on the feedback from the leagues’ legal teams.