Gender Reassignment

Gender Identity Issues

Scottish Rugby Union is committed to ensuring that rugby is a sport for all – without barriers, real or perceived. We welcome applications to play from trans-gender players and have set up an internal process in order to address such applications fairly and sensitively.

The following details explain how we address gender identity enquiries.

World Rugby Policy

The World Rugby has issued two medical policies relating to Gender Identity issues. These policies cover:

  • Gender Identity Disorder (GID) – This policy relates to the ability of those whose sex has been re-assigned to play rugby; and
  • Disorders of Sexual Differentiation (DSD) – This policy relates to situations where an individual cannot be definitively assigned as being male or female.

World Rugby policy documents 

Guidance from UK Sport Councils

The UK Sports Councils have developed guidance for national governing bodies of sport on transsexual people and competitive sport. This guidance can be found here.

Scottish Rugby’s Regulation

Scottish Rugby has adopted World Rugby’s gender identity policies on GID and DSD into its own domestic regulations (as set out within the Scottish Rugby “Policy on Gender Identity Issues”). All players within the Scottish Rugby Union’s jurisdiction subject to GID or DSD are required to comply with this domestic Regulation.

Further detail on our domestic regulation can be found in our Policy on Gender Identity Issues.

Applications to play by GID and DSD players

Individuals subject to GID or DSD should apply to Scottish Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer for permission to play. All such applications will be treated in the strictest confidence and shall be considered in accordance with Scottish Rugby’s Policy on Gender Identity Issues.

Contact details

If you can't find the information you're looking for or have a specific query on Gender Identity issues please contact Scottish Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr James Robson, at [email protected] or 0131 346 5152.

School and Youth Gender Identity Issues

Scottish Rugby is committed to ensuring that rugby is a sport for all – without barriers, real or perceived. Participation in sport makes an important contribution to a child’s development, regardless of their background or circumstances. Scottish Rugby is committed to developing processes, practices and plans to ensure that rugby is open to all.

The following explains Scottish Rugby’s current position on gender identity issues in schools and youth rugby in Scotland.

World Rugby Policy

World Rugby is yet to publish guidance on gender identity issues applicable to schools and youth rugby, but has issued two medical policies relating to Gender Identity issues in adults. See section above.

Guidance from UK Sport Councils

The UK Sports Council has developed guidance for national governing bodies of sport on transsexual people and competitive sport. The guidance provided is useful when considering issues concerning young people in contact sport and Scottish Rugby seeks to refer to such guidance. This guidance can be found here.

Scottish Rugby’s Approach

Whilst Scottish Rugby has adopted the above World Rugby gender policies into its own domestic regulations, Scottish Rugby recognises that World Rugby’s policies are now out of date and Scottish Rugby will also adopt the term ‘gender reassignment’ in its policies going forward. Scottish Rugby await further World Rugby guidance applicable to gender identity issues within schools and youth rugby. Scottish Rugby will review its policies and how to facilitate the inclusion of transgender players in schools and youth rugby in light of any recommendations made by World Rugby’s policy on gender identity issues once it is made available.

In any event, the safety and welfare of every player is of paramount importance to Scottish Rugby. In schools and youth rugby, physical strength, stamina and physique are significant factors in ensuring fair competition and the safety of all competitors. Recognising this, schools and youth rugby players are restricted to participation in contact rugby organised for the physical sex they were born with, as opposed to their affirmed gender.

Contact details 

If you can’t find the information you are looking for or have a specific query on gender identity issues please contact Peter Young, Outreach and Equality Manager, at [email protected] or 07764178941.