New year, new name, same sport. Why Quidditch is now Quadball.

As of this year, the UBC Thunderbirds Quidditch Sports Club is adopting the new name of Quadball. Following in the footsteps of Quidditch Canada, this change has been undertaken in an effort to help the sport grow beyond its origins.

The original name of Quidditch finds its origins in the fictional universe of Harry Potter, the source of inspiration for the sport. However, in the past two decades, the sport has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with an active community of players and fans. In light of this growth, the continued use of the term Quidditch creates a variety of challenges.

Snitch Catch

Wesley (seeker) reaching for the snitch.

Firstly, the use of the Quidditch name presents obstacles to the growth of the sport. The trademark for “Quidditch” is owned by Warner Bros and as a result, it is difficult to pursue sponsorship and licensing agreements. The rebranding will remove this obstacle and enable our sport’s continued growth. Additionally, the name change will help to promote the sport to a wider audience, including people who may not be fans of the Harry Potter series.


Secondly, continued association with the Harry Potter brand goes against values at the core of the sport and which we, as a team, aim to prioritize. In light of J.K. Rowling’s ongoing transphobic remarks and the cultural appropriation in her recent publications, there are serious concerns as to the harm to inclusivity presented by our continued affiliation with her work. We continue to be welcoming to players and fans who found the sport through a love for the Harry Potter series – that passion is, after all, the reason the game exists! However, the principle of gender inclusivity is foundational to the sport and the actions and comments of Rowling strongly contradict the sport’s values. Breaking from this association is important in working to create and maintain a welcoming environment for all players and fans.

Team Huddle

UBC Thunderbirds huddle before a game at Quidditch Nationals

For these reasons, the Thunderbirds Quadball team is joining Quadball Canada, US Quadball, and Major League Quadball in the rebranding. The name Quadball, chosen with input from fans and players, reflects the four balls on the pitch – and on the pitch, very little will change. The rules of the game will remain the same, with some small changes to vocabulary. The quaffle is now the quadball, the bludgers are now dodgeballs, and the snitch is now the flag. The names of the positions – chaser, beater, keeper, and seeker – remain the same.

Overall, the name change from Quidditch to Quadball is an effort to promote inclusivity and make the sport more accessible to a wider audience. The sport remains the same, but the new name is intended to be more representative of the sport’s values and goals.

Written by Anya McKercher