Trans women eligible to play at all levels of LGFA pending case-by-case assessment 

The Association says that it is “committed to the inclusion of Trans-women into the LGFA”.

LGFA players competing on the pitch.
Image: Twitter: @LadiesFootball

On Wednesday, February 15, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) published its new Transgender Policy. The document outlines the organisation’s position on the participation of trans women within the sport, confirming that athletes will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
According to the Association, trans women are eligible to play at all levels of the LGFA, both club and country, provided that they meet three criteria.

The first requirement is that the athlete complies with the Official Guide, as well as all rules, policies and bye-laws, the second is that they have not been the subject of any decision by the LGFA Transgender Risk Committee (TRC) with regard to any unacceptable risk arising, and the third is that they complete an application relevant to their case.

There are three different application forms available for trans women and girls wishing to play or continue playing Ladies Gaelic Football, each catering to a different age group. For those aged 18 and over, there is Application A; for those aged over 12 years old and under 16 years old, there is Application B; and for those aged either 16 or 17, there is Application C.

In all three forms, a GP or suitably qualified medical practitioner must confirm that the athlete has transitioned or is transitioning from male to female and intends to live the rest of their life as a woman. In applications A and C, the healthcare professional must also declare that the person’s total testosterone level in serum during the previous 12 months is equal to or less than 10 nanomoles per litre.

There is also a requirement in all three forms to supply the LGFA with any supporting documentation relevant to the case.

The submissions will be considered by the LGFA Transgender Application Committee (TAC), and if rejected, the athlete may request a review of the decision. 

Within the Policy, the Association says that it is “committed to the inclusion of Trans-women into the LGFA,” adding that it wants to support transgender athletes in participating “in a safe and inclusive environment”.

When contacted by GCN, the governing body stated that the Policy was created “following a lengthy and detailed consultation process, which took into consideration worldwide international practice and legal advice” and declined to comment further.

LGBTQ+-inclusive GAA club, Na Gaeil Aeracha, welcomed the introduction of the new Policy, saying, “We appreciate the work the LGFA is doing to keep our game inclusive”.

The club continued: “We acknowledge that this policy adopts a 10nMol/l threshold as advised from the IOC on its 2015 regulation as many other sport federations have done so far.

“We’re keen to learn more about the concept of “unacceptable risk” and the criteria to determine such. The lack of transparency on that ground could expose applicants to the risk of being excluded based on “passing” and other social criteria more than objective scientific basis,” the statement concluded.

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