Badminton England will no longer allow trans women or non-binary players to compete in competitive female sport.
A document uploaded to the sporting body’s website explained that trans women and those who identify as non-binary will only be eligible to play competitively in the ‘open’ category.
A statement read: “We recognise that this is a developing area of policy with new research being published and changing societal attitudes.
“As such, we will review this policy annually before the start of each competitive season. This is to ensure that best practice is continued.”
“We recognise that this is a developing area of policy with new research being published” – Badminton England
The body “encourages transgender and non-binary players to play badminton recreationally in the gender they identify as.” However, this will not extend to competitive sport.
The sport will have two categories at competition level going forward – ‘open’ and ‘female’.
The female category is only open to those who were assigned female at birth (AFAB).
All individuals will be eligible to compete in the ‘open’ category. This will replace the men’s category.
“We will review this policy annually before the start of each competitive season”
Badminton England says it “recognises and acknowledges” everyone’s right to “define their own gender”. However, they state they will prioritise “fairness of competition.”
It’s not the only sport to have banned transgender women from competing in female sport in recent months.
A similar policy change was announced by British Cycling in May. The sporting body also introduced a ‘female’ and ‘open’ category at the time.
Only those assigned female at birth will be able to compete in the ‘female’ category.
These changes prevent athletes such as British cyclist, Emily Bridges, from competing in women’s races. She is the highest-profile trans woman in UK cycling.
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