Transgender athletes will be banned from the women's rugby league World Cup in England later this year Photo: AFP
sports

Rugby league bans transgender players from women's internationals

23 Comments

The sport of rugby league on Tuesday banned transgender players from women's international matches while it develops a "comprehensive inclusion policy".

Its decision came a day after international swimming effectively banned transgender athletes from women's races, placing them instead in a new "open category".

Rugby league authorities said they needed to conduct further consultations and research to finalize a new policy for 2023, citing the "welfare, legal and reputational risk" to the game and players.

Until then, transgender women players "are unable to play in sanctioned women's international rugby league matches," said a statement from the 13-a-side game's governing body, the International Rugby League.

The decision means transgender athletes will be banned from this year's Women's Rugby League World Cup in England in November.

Rugby league authorities cited the International Olympic Committee's decision last year that each sport should determine how athletes might be at a "disproportionate advantage".

"The IRL reaffirms its belief that rugby league is a game for all and that anyone and everyone can play our sport," it said.

The sport said it had a responsibility to balance each player's right to take part against the perceived risk to other players "and to ensure all are given a fair hearing".

The governing body said it would work with the eight nations taking part in the Women's Rugby League World Cup for a "future trans women inclusion policy in 2023", taking into account the "unique characteristics" of rugby league.

Swimming's governing body FINA made its decision to exclude transgender swimmers from women's races after setting up legal, medical and athletes' committees to examine the issue.

FINA decided that male-to-female transgender athletes could only join women's races if they had not experienced any part of male puberty.

FINA said its medical committee found that males acquired advantages in puberty, including in the size of their organs and bones, that were not lost in hormone suppression.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has hinted track and field could follow swimming in bringing in a tougher policy on transgender athletes competing in women's events.

"My responsibility is to protect the integrity of women's sport and we take that very seriously, and if it means that we have to make adjustments to protocols going forward, we will," said Coe, who was present in Budapest at the swimming world championships on Sunday.

"I've always made it clear: if we ever get pushed into a corner to that point where we're making a judgement about fairness or inclusion, I will always fall down on the side of fairness."

Coe said biology "trumps gender" and that athletics would continue to review its rules in line with this.

Under World Athletics rules, transgender women have to show they have low testosterone levels for at least 12 months before competition.

Cycling's governing body, the UCI, has also toughened its rules on transgender eligibility by doubling the time period before a rider transitioning from male to female can compete.

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


23 Comments
Login to comment

Its decision came a day after international swimming effectively banned transgender athletes from women's races, placing them instead in a new "open category".

thank God! That was an infamous glitch in sports history, men stealing women's medals in the name of "inclusiveness". Everyone who feels different from the rest is more than welcome in this new open category, just wonder if they will add this thing in future olympics

19 ( +20 / -1 )

if they will add this thing in future olympics

I hope they do and it’s success. Everyone should be given a chance to compete.

Sports like rugby obviously carry a real risk of serious injury. This is more than about protecting fairness. It’s about protecting the well-being of players.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

When common sense wins, everyone does.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Common sense beginning to prevail is a win for my daughters and young girls everywhere who have dreams!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Muscle and bone structure and hormones , testosterone etc...

Men versus women challenge ok.

But is he female ?

However a confused rugby player could be dangerous.

Transgender should have their own team's.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

The Rugby League made the right decision. Transgenders should be given the chance to play in a separate competition.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Hope restored that the world isn't going completely mad.

Wanting to be something doesn't make it happen...

Even if you really, really want it to be true.

That's rugby, tennis, cycling...other sports hurry up.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

good move.another good one.

lets make rugby league for-trans people.

anyone against?i think its completely fair.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

A human with a penis is a man.

A human with a vagina is a woman.

Why is this so hard to comprehend for some people?

4 ( +11 / -7 )

I wasn't aware that Rugby League had any transgender women players (or people wanting to play).

Kyo WA

Agree that trans people should have opportunity to compete against other trans people. however, for Rugby League I very much doubt that there are enough trans players to even make up 2 teams, let alone a tournament.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Maybe they will also open a new "open category" where both men, women and transgenders can play as one team.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Great another sport that the Olympics will not recognise. Soon all sport organisation will follow suit. Why ? Because common sense has prevailed. Yes by Paris 2024 the game’s competitors will be only transportperson.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@David Brent

Why is it so hard to comprehend for some people

David if you paid attention to the details of the article you would understand that not everyone is born with a reproductive organ.

Or there was an accident.

Perhaps that's too difficult for YOU to comprehend ?

There are others that have a mental/ emotional disability that have gender issues.

And then there's the one's that are just confused or curious.

I try not to discriminate and be sympathetic .

Iam not transgender so i cant full relate .

Accidents do happen so be thankful you don't have those kind of issues.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Seigi

Open category

That's a very good point.

A team category where everyone accepts by choice who they are competing against.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Too right! Finally some common sense!!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

kyo: it empathy driving subject. I lack empathy so I use logic. I don’t care for people who are driven by self- centerness who can not relate that is it is not fair for rest of the competitors. It like allowing a seeing person play against blind person. You might call that fair but those normal orientated and blind people don’t.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In Thailand, the trans Muay Thai fighters fight in the mens category. Some of them actually rank pretty high.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I lack empathy so I use logic. I don’t care for people who are driven by self- centerness who can not relate that is it is not fair for rest of the competitors

You lack empathy but don't care for self-centered people.

You might want to look a little more at those terms, particularly logic and intelligibility.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The IRL made the right decision.

Common sense prevailed, this time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A human with a penis is a man.

A human with a vagina is a woman.

Why is this so hard to comprehend for some people?

And where do hermaphrodites fit into this vision? By your logic, they are both.

This is a completely different thing to people who clearly have a male physique competing in women's events which rightly raises concerns, but nature has not made things quite so easy for us.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

As they should be. Wearing a dress and makeup does not make a man a woman.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Excellent news again today! Keep it coming, please.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The world is finally waking up to this madness!!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites