Quidditch: A stepping stone for transgender people in sports

The emerging sport known as muggle quidditch has given transgender athletes around the world tremendous opportunities. Muggle Quidditch is a co-ed contact sport adapted from the popular book series, Harry Potter. It encompasses a mix of rugby, dodgeball, and tag features and has specific rules to ensure gender equality on the field.

After years of facing discrimination in gender exclusive sports and having to go through hormone therapy just to qualify for the team that represents the player’s identity, this up and coming sport provides a place where transgenders can play without having to worry about how their identity conflicts with gender restrictions. A university as diverse and accepting as Georgia State ought to see this as a great opportunity for transgender students who wish to partake in athletics. With only one active quidditch team in the Atlanta area, Georgia State should take the initiative to form a second team.

Muggle quidditch is a step in right direction as it has the potential to impact the lives of those who would have otherwise never had the chance to play on a competitive sports team. Quidditch is a gender inclusive sport that identifies its players as simply players and not male or female. It allows those who have no gender or who are still questioning to play a sport without having to identify as a male of female. It also gives those who do not wish to go through hormone therapy to play unlike gender exclusive sports in the National Collegiate Athletic Association who require female transgenders (male to female) to undergo a full year of testosterone suppression treatment before they can play on a woman’s team.

The International Quidditch Association has made great strides in ensuring gender equality on the field and teams all over the world accept players who identify with different genders
. Their “two-minimum” rule requires that at any given time on the field, two players from a team must identify with a different gender than two other players on that team. This ensures that multiple genders are always represented.

Muggle quidditch is played all over the world in Europe, North America, Australia and recently the Middle East. There are over 300 high school and university teams that compete in regional championships. If Georgia State formed a team and it was approved by the IQA, it would compete in the south regional championship. Winners from the regional championships compete in the world cup. Held annually, the world cup features teams from all over the world. The seventh world cup will be held in April 2014.

Currently, Georgia only has one active team. The Atlanta Kedavra is a community team that plays in Kennesaw and Marietta but they have yet to be approved by the IQA. Georgia has had a very limited role in this up and coming internationally recognized sport. Muggle quidditch and its ability to give transgender athletes a safe environment to play a sport without the tensions of gender identity should not go ignored by Georgia State.

The few quidditch games that have already occurred on the Georgia State campus show that there are students dedicated to this sport with enough talent to form a successful team. With more university and campus involvement, an official team can be formed. This will give transgender athletes the option to play for a competitive sports team that not only accepts but adamantly enforces the inclusion of all genders.

Quidditch is a growing sport and is played on the regional and international level. If teams all over the world have grown along with opportunities for transgender athletes, the time has come for a quidditch team to form at Georgia State as well.