Men who consider themselves women will not be able to compete against women in the Women’s International Rugby League.
“Until further research is completed to enable the IRL to implement a formal transgender inclusion policy, male-to-female (transwomen) players are unable to play in sanctioned women’s international rugby league matches,” the International Rugby League announced in a Tuesday news release.
The league said it reached the decision after examining the participation of transgender people in international rugby play and in consideration of “several relevant developments in world sport.”
In particular, it noted that the International Olympic Committee had decided, in November, to allow the governing bodies of individual sports to make decisions about transgender participation.
“The IOC concluded that it is the remit of each sport and its governing body to determine how an athlete may be at a disproportionate advantage compared with their peers – taking into consideration the differing nature of each sport,” the IRL statement said.
“In the interests of avoiding unnecessary welfare, legal and reputational risk to International Rugby League competitions, and those competing therein, the IRL believes there is a requirement and responsibility to further consult and complete additional research before finalising its policy…
“It is the IRL’s responsibility to balance the individual’s right to participate – a long-standing principle of rugby league and at its heart from the day it was established – against perceived risk to other participants, and to ensure all are given a fair hearing.”
Transgender athletes criticized the decision.
“It’s disappointing. We’re human beings the same as everyone else,” Australian rugby player Caroline Layt, who played elite women’s rugby after identifying himself as a female, told Reuters.
“It just tells trans kids and trans adults that you’re not worthy. Don’t even bother. Don’t even bother showing up. What’s the point?” Layt said.
Rugby has joined other competitive sports, such as cycling and Australian Rules football, in limiting the participation of transgender athletes, Reuters reported.
On Sunday, the International Swimming Federation (known by its French acronym FINA) banned males from competing against females unless they had completed their “transition” by the age of 12.
“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” FINA president Husain Al-Musallam’s spokesperson James Pearce said.
Although the FINA decision was not a full ban on transgender participation in women’s sports, it still led to a meltdown among pro-transgender activists.
“Banning swimmers who are trans is discrimination,” transgender activist Jackie Turner wrote on Twitter.
“None of the research on this has been done on elite athletes. FINA have made this decision bc of the misogynistic hate campaign directed at Lia Thomas by the anti-trans lobby. Her career has been ruined by this decision,” the activist’s post stated.
“This is essentially a ban of trans women from swimming entirely, unless they start transitioning under the age of 12,” leftist influencer Erin Reed wrote in another Twitter post.
“No Olympics. They’ll create a ‘separate category’ which will basically have a single swimmer per race by themselves. This is terrible.”
FIFA, the international governing body for competitive soccer, said that it is in the process of determining its policies on the participation of transgender players, Reuters reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.