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https://twitter.com/fairplaywomen/status/1314597671693422592

World Rugby has set new guidelines which recommend against transwomen playing at the elite and international level, given the size and strength differences and the evidence that it poses a significantly increased risk of injury. You can read the guidelines in full, as well as some very reasonable responses to the most common questions, from the linked tweet.

This is a huge relief, especially given the disappointing recent decision by other sports organizations to prioritize transwomen's validation over women's safety: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/oct/01/afl-rugby-and-other-australian-sports-set-guidelines-for-inclusion-of-trans-athletes

Progress can happen!

https://twitter.com/fairplaywomen/status/1314597671693422592 World Rugby has set new guidelines which recommend against transwomen playing at the elite and international level, given the size and strength differences and the evidence that it poses a significantly increased risk of injury. You can read the guidelines in full, as well as some very reasonable responses to the most common questions, from the linked tweet. This is a huge relief, especially given the disappointing recent decision by other sports organizations to prioritize transwomen's validation over women's safety: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/oct/01/afl-rugby-and-other-australian-sports-set-guidelines-for-inclusion-of-trans-athletes Progress can happen!

17 comments

[–] itsnotaboutewe 19 points (+20|-1)

This is not a win. It only excludes men from the elite level of the sport and allows community level to make their own rules. This means that at entry level rugby women and girls will be playing against males and their resulting injuries will make sure they drop out before they get to the elite, protected levels of the sport. You cannot foster a love of women's sport when at the lowest level you are shown how unfair it is as it prioritises the feeling of men, who should not be in there, over the safety of women who the sport was set up for. Not a win.

Dude incremental progress is still progress. This particular milestone took a lot of hard work by women's groups, and sports is one of the most easily understandable ways to peak people that might not necessarily be tuned into the debate otherwise. It absolutely is a win and when we're fighting this entrenched, exhausting war we need to let ourselves celebrate the good things. I'd love to snap my fingers and make all sports at every level sex-segregated, of course that's the eventual goal, but we had to fight tooth and nail just to get here and we should stop and savor the moment.

[–] badfaithdragon 8 points (+8|-0)

Seriously, this is still tragic. I used to play rugby recreationally as the only girl on a team full of boys because there was no girls team available. Now, there are girls teams but they aren't going to be safe either. This makes me feel so sad for other girls, who like me, are going to be softly forced out of the sport - difference is I had to quit around 11/12 because you weren't allowed to be female on a boys team and there just wasn't a girls team, now the girls teams will be full of males and no girl can do anything about it. It's already a hard enough sport to get into. This is just another hit to discourage girls from rugby. This is a completely unfair test for girls - if a girl wants to progress into the higher levels of rugby, she'll have to stick it out in the dangerous community levels. I'm disappointed.

[–] littleowl12 8 points (+8|-0)

I don't know much about the business end of it- will this be a deterrent for coaches and divisions for investing in a TIM they can't bring to the big games anyway?

[–] itsnotaboutewe 8 points (+8|-0)

The community level teams don't have the resources to keep men out of their teams. They can't fight legal challenges and they don't want to be labelled 'transphobic'. These teams will have no choice but to accept men in their sport to the detriment of women and girls. Imagine the huge 14 year old boys playing against the tiny teen girls. There will be no community level women able to rise up the ranks against men so there will be no women for the elite level to choose from.

[–] thedarkhorse 3 points (+3|-0)

Hopefully they will get some legal challenges from women and girls.

[–] Ronja 7 points (+7|-0)

As someone who participated at the lower levels of martial arts, I have to say I agree. This is an example of where they should have doubled down, simply because the TIMs who want access to women's sports see this as just another boundary that must be pushed and their reasoning will be as follows: "if you allowed it at this level, why not at higher levels? You keep citing safety as a reason, but clearly you think that the women in lower levels don't need it, so why do the women at the elite level need it? They are elites after all?"

We must also be absolutely clear about what sports is to young girls: a form of empowerment, but it can be the opposite if girls aren't heard or their bodies respected. I did martial arts from a young age and it was (unfortunately) an age mix group because the club was small. I (around 11 years) was paired with a woman, much larger in stature than most women and we were doing light kicks to the side, waist-level. She somehow managed to kick me in the jaw and I fell to the floor and I dragged myself to the side, hoping it wasn't serious. She did not apologize. She was not given any punishment (unsportsmanlike conduct would result in timeout, which have been used for very similar behaviour against boys) They didn't check to see if I was fine. I tried not to cry because I didn't want to feel embarrassed (there were boys present), but what I needed was for someone to care and take it seriously. So I know what it's like to be in the ring, on the court and be completely disregarded and feel unsafe because of it. These girls will not be able to say no. They will not feel okay coming to practice during their periods. They have no managers. They will be overlooked. Again. And the interest in elite rugby for women will wane.

[–] SamuraiGhostCat 5 points (+5|-0)

At least it’s better than nothing, and this decision WILL influence lower leagues.

Progress!!