News & Politics

Now International Rugby Bans the Trans—Is More Sanity on the Way?

Tony Brick

The International Rugby League (IRL) has banned transgender players from women’s matches. The governing body issued a statement on Tuesday, in which it explained it was working to “review and update rules about transgender participation in women’s international rugby league and will seek to use the upcoming World Cup to help develop a comprehensive inclusion policy.” In the meantime, the IRL stipulated that “male-to-female (transwomen) players are unable to play in sanctioned women’s international rugby league matches.”

The IRL indirectly admitted that letting men play rough contact sports with women is not only unfair but also dangerous. “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.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Sunday’s adoption of a new policy by FINA, the world swimming governing body, which now bans male competitors who “transitioned” to female after they already experienced male puberty. A swimmer who went through normal human male growth and development will generally have a longer stroke, larger heart and lungs, and greater stamina and muscle mass than his female competitors, no matter how many hormones he takes after the fact.

Related: International Swimming Federation Votes to Prevent Most Transgenders From Competing

Last week, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which oversees cycling competition, doubled the period of time required for trans-women to have been in transition to be eligible to compete. Former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies has publicly called for UCI to go all the way and ban trans women (aka men) from women’s competition, period. “I think what cycling has done is disgraceful,” said Davies. “They have basically said they are happy for female athletes to compete with a disadvantage. I’m afraid that is not acceptable in a world where we don’t believe in sex discrimination.'”

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, opened the door for more non-pro leagues to follow suit. “I’ve always made it clear — if we ever get pushed into a corner to that point where we’re making a judgment about fairness or inclusion, I will always fall down on the side of fairness,” averred Coe. In an encouraging sign for fans of sanity and fair play, he added, “We have always believed, and repeated constantly, that biology trumps gender and we will continue to review our regulations in line with this.”

World Athletics governs track and field sports. Coe’s statement implies that these leagues are also eyeing policies that preserve level playing fields for female athletes.

As no sports competition seems capable of just saying “no” to delusional men who need to crush women to validate themselves, an accommodation must be found. Some governing athletic bodies are discussing a new “open” competition category. It will be interesting to see if there are still enough trans women to fill up an open category, once the allure of easy wins is removed from the equation. Or perhaps male athletes will take a page from the trans playbook and enter the open competitions, in which they will handily defeat both men who have diminished their strength with female hormones and women who have increased theirs with male hormones.

Throughout the sports world’s current obsession with trans madness, two truths have held steady: No “transgender” men have crushed the competition in men’s sports, and no “transgender” men have qualified to play on a professional team. And isn’t it interesting that there aren’t any “transgender” women on pro women’s teams? I’d love to see that battle, once actual business competition is involved.