Gender Identity

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 and includes the following ten‐point action plan which provides a framework for NGBs to help them remove barriers to transsexual people playing competitive sport: 

  • Understand the terms used. 
  • Ensure compliance with the law and the international, sporting regulatory framework.
  • Ensure that the board sets responsibility for inclusion and anti‐discrimination at the highest level in the organisation.
  • Consult and build relationships with transsexual people and associated organisations
  • Develop a clear policy and procedures for transsexual people competing in domestic competition.
  • Develop and introduce codes of conduct.
  • Develop a clear policy and procedures on managing incidents of transphobia.
  • Raise awareness and develop understanding through training.
  • Share guidance with members, and make guidance readily available so that transsexual people know their rights, and offer support. 
  • Publicise your commitment to inclusion and tackling transphobia.

Scottish Rugby supports the action plan set out by the UK Sports Councils.

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 0131 346 5152.