The rugby league has banned transgender players from women’s international competitions.
Following worldwide swimming’s decision to limit trans athletes’ participation at the highest level, the rugby league has barred transgender players from women’s international competition until further notice.
In a statement released Tuesday, the International Rugby League (IRL) said it required more Time to discuss before finalizing its transgender policy.
“Male-to-female (trans women) players are ineligible to compete in sanctioned women’s international rugby league matches until more study is done to allow the IRL to create an official transgender inclusion policy,” it added.
“It is the role of the IRL to weigh the individual’s right to join… against the perceived danger to other participants, and to ensure that everyone is given a fair hearing.”
As part of its new policy, FINA, the international governing body of swimming, agreed on Sunday to exclude transgender athletes from competing in top women’s competitions and to form a working group to develop an ‘open’ category for them in various events.
Other sports, such as soccer and athletics, have now reviewed their regulations on transgender players due to this.
Transgender rights organizations lambasted FINA’s decision, while Megan Rapinoe, a two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist for the United States, called it “disgusting.”
She told Time magazine that the dialogue should begin with inclusivity and sort out the details afterward.
The IRL said it will collaborate with the eight teams playing in the women’s Rugby League World Cup in November, which will be hosted by England, to gather data for a transgender policy in 2023.
“The IRL will continue to work toward adopting a set of standards, based on the best available research, that equitably balances the individual’s right to participate with the safety of all players,” the group stated.
Many international women’s rugby league players are unlikely to be affected by the ban.
Australia and New Zealand, the sport’s heavyweight countries, have no transgender athletes participating at the international level.
The Australian National Rugby League (NRLgoverning )’s body refused to comment on the worldwide ban, saying it was currently working on its own transgender policy.
Eric is a professional news editor, writer, and blogger for the last 10 years. He is working with NewsGater as an off-beat news editor cum writer.