What does the new transgender orientation mean for sport in the UK? | sport

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Who is this new transgender orientation for? All competitive sports across Great Britain, from local to national level. As it stands, most of them follow the 2015 International Olympic Committee guidelines, which state that trans women can compete in the female category if they reduce their testosterone to less than 10 n / mol per liter. for 12 months. However, as the guidelines note, the IOC recently said that such an approach was no longer fit for purpose due to emerging research on the “retained advantage” trans women are likely to have.

What are the key points of the new directives? Essentially, the five sports councils – which fund and invest in sport in Britain and Northern Ireland – say three things: 1) Science shows trans women retain advantages in terms of physique, strength and strength. endurance; 2) There is no magic bullet that balances the inclusion of trans in gender-affected women’s sport with fairness and safety in competition; 3) Consequently, some sports will have to make a conscious choice favoring either inclusion or equity and safety.

What do the terms inclusion, equity and security mean here? To quote the guidelines directly, “we use ‘inclusion’ to mean the inclusion of transgender people in whatever category they choose. The term “fairness” means fairness in competition with respect to gender category, and as defined in the Equality Act with respect to strength, endurance and physique in sports related to the kind. “Safety”, which is also referenced in the Equality Act, refers to safety against the risk of injury. “

What solutions do the guidelines suggest? The guide suggests three potential avenues for sport: prioritizing the inclusion of transgender people, protecting the category of women by having an “open” and “women-only” section, and proposing new formats for sport so that they can be practiced by everyone safely and fairly.

What do the safety guidelines say? Sports are reminded that there is a “contact hierarchy” starting with sports that compete in parallel – such as swimming, darts and dressage. This hierarchy then shifts to contact sports, including netball and soccer, then to collision sports like rugby, before ending in combat sports like boxing and taekwondo. “The safety rating is relevant at all levels of sport,” he adds. “And in some cases this may be more important in competitions at community level where a lower skill level may increase the risk.”

What are the sports likely to do with the new guidelines? Most are expected to welcome them because they will provide the clarity – and coverage – needed when setting their own rules. However, this will pose challenges for some.

Are there such examples? The most obvious is the Rugby Football Union, which suggested this year that trans women could be assessed individually to see if it was safe for them to play rugby in England. Not only do the guidelines suggest that there are safety concerns with collision sports, they also criticize the idea of ​​individual assessments for a variety of reasons. “It is difficult to predict how one would expect a person to exert maximum effort when a positive result for them is based on obtaining a lower result,” the guidelines say.

Why don’t the five sports tips give definitive sports advice? The guide admits that “this is a complex area and what is good for one sport may not be good for another”. He stresses that none of the sports councils is a regulator and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

What do we say about transgender men? “In most sports, transgender men will be able to compete without restriction in the male (or open) category,” the guidelines say. “However, sports that include collisions or fights may wish to institute safety guidelines in the best interests of the transgender competitor.” However, transgender men are not allowed to compete in the female categories once testosterone treatment has started, as this would constitute a doping violation according to World Anti-Doping Agency regulations.

How did the review take place and who did they speak to? The guidelines are the result of an 18-month consultation and review of public peer-reviewed studies. The consultation included a mix of face-to-face interviews and written surveys across a wide variety of sports and countries – with 300 people from 27 countries and 175 organizations involved. Interviewees included current and former athletes, people from LGBT + and women’s groups and communities, and transgender people.

What does he say about the inclusion of transgender people? “All sports councils are committed to including transgender people in sport and physical activity,” the guidelines say. “In line with the findings of this review, the goals of acceptance, social inclusion and physical activity can be best achieved outside of the sexual binary in grassroots and home sport. The introduction of new and different models in sport offers an alternative option to meet the needs of people across all aspects of equality law.


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