England: Rugby Football Union to vote on gender participation policy next week

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced that there would be a vote on whether only females and males will be allowed to play the sport.

These recommendations come on the back of a comprehensive review from the RFU on its gender participation policy in English domestic contact rugby.

Comprehensive data

The RFU received in excess of 11,000 responses to a survey on the subject and consulted a range of scientific evidence from different sporting codes.

The vote will be conducted on Friday, July 29, by the RFU council as they look to alter their policy ahead of next season.

“Science provides the basis of the recommendation that the inclusion of trans people assigned male at birth in female contact rugby cannot be balanced against considerations of safety and fairness,” read an RFU statement.

“The recommendation is that until such time as new science is available, a precautionary approach is appropriate to ensure fair competition and safety of all competitors.

“This is a complex and difficult decision and the recommendation has not been made lightly or without thorough and full research and consultation.”

RFU will continue their support

Should the recommendations be voted against, then the current policy will remain for the next season. However, the RFU claims it will continue offering support to registered trans female players.

“The review and consultation concluded that peer-reviewed research provides evidence that there are physical differences between those people whose sex was assigned as male and those as female at birth, and advantages in strength, stamina and physique brought about by male puberty are significant and retained even after testosterone suppression,” the statement continued.

“The RFU Council have been provided with access to medical, scientific and social information so that it can consider this recommendation and the merits of any alternative approaches, including a case-by-case approval process.

“However, the case-by-case assessment is not without difficulties and can result in players not being permitted to participate.

“In light of the research findings and work of World Rugby and the UK Sports Councils, and given the difficulties in identifying a credible test to assess physiological variables, it is recommended that this is no longer a viable option at this time and does not necessarily ensure inclusion.

“Therefore, the RFU Council will vote on a recommendation for a policy change for contact rugby to only permit players in the female category whose sex recorded at birth was female.

“In the male category, it is proposed that players whose sex recorded at birth is female may play if they provide their written consent and a risk assessment is carried out.”

READ MORE: State of the Nation: Scotland build depth but frustrations remain after series defeat to Argentina

The article England: Rugby Football Union to vote on gender participation policy next week appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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