Scottish Rugby is changing its rules from 1 February 2023 so that transgender women will be unable to compete in any contact versions of the sport.
The English, Welsh and Irish unions have all made similar rulings so that contact rugby is limited to those whose sex was recorded as female at birth with Scottish Rugby estimating this rule change affects around 10 players.
Scottish Rugby said “We acknowledge that this is an evolving space, and we will continue to review all available information as it emerges. We all have a responsibility to look after the participants in our game, with their wellbeing and safety at the centre of everything we do. We fully acknowledge this is a difficult and sadly divisive societal issue, and that has been especially apparent over the last few months. Scottish Rugby has been mindful of this and aimed to deal with the issue in a sensitive manner. Scottish Rugby wishes to be as inclusive as possible and is only imposing such eligibility restrictions based on the guidance provided. The decision to amend our eligibility criteria was not taken lightly as we seek to address conflicting viewpoints. Our gender participation policy recognises the need to balance considerations of safety and fairness with our underlying desire to be as inclusive as possible. At this moment in time, Scottish Rugby has opted to make a decision which puts safety first, based on the current research.”
Transgender men can continue playing contact rugby in the men’s category provided a risk assessment is completed.