The World Rugby Transgender guideline is now out, and fully available here: You’ll also find a document called FAQs which tries to answer some common questions. We firmly believe it is the right thing in an emotive issue, for many reasons.
The Guideline is also accompanied by a visualisation that summarises the available physiological evidence that informed the Guideline. Here are those images, but I’d encourage consideration of all the issues - biological, legal, medical, social, ethical. All are in the doc & FAQs
As brief a summary as I can provide:
It is not possible to balance inclusion, safety and fairness. All the quality evidence, even if incomplete, strongly suggests that advantages are retained with welfare & performance implications. Therefore, players must compete in sex category
We genuinely did strive for inclusion (see trans men ‘bypass’), but where it is apparent that it would compromise safety and performance, it cannot be achieved. Categories of sex exist for a reason and with the contact injury risk of rugby, this is the correct decision.
That said, we are committed to an annual review of the available evidence, because a few universities are doing quality stuff in this area. And a formal review of the guidelines is guaranteed every 3 years. For now, every piece of evidence points one way, and we went that way
And allow me to say, on a personal note - many of you may have questions & thought,. I pretty much guarantee that we thought about EVERY SINGLE ONE. Hard. We were not frivolous or reckless with evidence. The document & FAQ represent our best effort at summing up our ‘struggle'
So again, please read the full documents to see the process. But I thought a few of the common issues might be worth raising here. So here are some common questions and our responses, for Twitter consumption:

1. Is the research valid, if it’s not on athletes or people training?
2. Many people have advantages in sport - tall people have an advantage in basketball, isn’t that same as transgender women having strength, mass, speed or power advantages?
3. Can you not assess trans women on a case by case basis? (this question dulls my belief in people, really…Imagine trying this out for a really poor heavyweight boxer who wants to fight lightweight. Or adults wanting to play against kids)
And that’s that for now. There are some lengthy documents there, and many, many hours of discussion, argument, angst and analysis gone into reach the decision. We believe it is correct. We know it is emotive. And we’re committed to continuing to assess the evidence, not emotion.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ross Tucker

Ross Tucker Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Scienceofsport

9 Sep
Let me share a few thoughts on the latest #Semenya development - her appeal rejected by the Swiss Supreme court, World Athletics policy supported (pretty strongly too). We are planning a short pod on this tomorrow too, but here are a few thoughts… (1/…)
First, we’ve spoken a lot about transgender athletes recently. That has many elements to it. This has even more, and it’s really an unsolvable situation. It’s been present for nearly 100 years in sport, some horrendous attempts to manage it, and no clean solution in sight (2/…)
This decision establishes, for now, the policy that requires athletes with hyperandrogenism to lower T in order to compete. But not any hyperandrogenism, and not just any events. It covers only that caused by a selection of DSDs, where a person is 46XY, with testes, and thus (3/
Read 28 tweets
31 Aug
Last week, I posted a thread addressing a common criticism of transgender athlete policies, namely that they’re based on evidence in non-athletes. Here’s that thread, for a reminder. Today, I want to mull on another common issue raised in objection: (1/)
The objection is this: People argue that because trans women are often smaller, lighter, slower, weaker etc than biological females, it should be fine for them to compete as women. It’s an “overlap argument". Here’s one example of that thinking (this particular poll backfired): Image
The premise of the argument is this:
- Testosterone confers upon males advantages including size, strength, speed, power. This is why women have a separate category;
- If someone identifies as female (trans women), provided they’re not too big, strong, fast, they can compete as W
Read 15 tweets
24 Aug
This has been a common argument in the trans women in rugby debate. People have the idea that unless you *directly* study rugby AND show that TW cause injuries, it can’t be evidence based. Of course it can - there are peer reviewed studies that show two related things (thread)
2/ First, you have so many studies that identify both performance determinants and risk factors for injury in rugby. Dozens of studies identify when injury occurs, and thus what the significant risks for injury are. Similarly, performance is multifactorial but is KNOWN to be...
3/ …significantly influenced by a handful of testable/measurable factors. In fact, these measurable factors are so crucial and “robust" that teams actually have minimum standards for them, and select or drop players based on achieving these targets. They’re not “guesses”.
Read 22 tweets
24 Aug
@AntiAnja @Lukeyswords @cuthbert_shaw @JohnJMcGivern @WorldRugby We are hearing this argument a lot. People have the idea that unless you directly study rugby AND show that TW are causing more injuries, it can’t be evidence based. But of course, it can. Because there are peer reviewed studies that show two related things. First, you have...
@AntiAnja @Lukeyswords @cuthbert_shaw @JohnJMcGivern @WorldRugby …a ton of studies that identify what causes injury and performance in the sport. You know, based on hundreds of studies, when injuries happen, and how, and so you can identify the significant risks for injury and the determinants of performance. The performance variables are...
@AntiAnja @Lukeyswords @cuthbert_shaw @JohnJMcGivern @WorldRugby …so robust that teams actually have minimum standards for them, and select or drop players based on achieving these targets. Then second, you have a host of peer reviewed studies that have examined what the biological differences are between M and F, and what this means for
Read 12 tweets
29 Jul
@bloodandmud @smash_rugby @CarolineLayt @SquidgeRugby @KirstiMiller30 @VeritySmith19 @CardiffLions Hi Lee. Heard your discussion on the latest pod, and appreciate the views raised (though I don’t agree with some of the criticisms of the process). regarding the science, the principle or conceptual approach to the issue is very much the same as it was for head injuries. (1/)
@bloodandmud @smash_rugby @CarolineLayt @SquidgeRugby @KirstiMiller30 @VeritySmith19 @CardiffLions That approach is a classic “public health model” where the risk is first identified, then risk factors are assessed, and then attempts are made to mitigate, reduce or avoid those risk factors altogether. I’m know you’re familiar with how this played out in the concussion space
@bloodandmud @smash_rugby @CarolineLayt @SquidgeRugby @KirstiMiller30 @VeritySmith19 @CardiffLions In this area, the same recognition of risk was raised. What you guys discussed on the pod, which wasn’t entirely true, is that there is ONE anecdote (the deckchairs) that raised this concern. There were actually multiple concerns raised. So that was part of it - the sport was
Read 38 tweets
29 Jun
Something keeps coming up in the discussions about women’s sport, fairness and advantages for transwomen. It’s that there is an overlap in the physiology affecting performance between males & females, which some say makes arguments about unfairness irrelevant. Here’s a thread (1/
First, the start point is saying that physiological attributes that drive performance overlap between M & F. This is definitely true - many women are stronger, faster, more powerful, muscular, leaner etc, than many men. Nobody would dispute this - just join a race to find out (2/
Next, this observation - a spectrum for the secondary sex characteristics - is used to argue against a sex binary, which is disingenuous. They’re different things. But it evolves into saying that because there is overlap and because sport is all about “natural advantages”, the...
Read 17 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!