December 19, 2022 by Charlie Eisenhood in Interview, News with comments
Last week, the PDGA announced new gender-based division eligibility guidelines that effectively bar transgender women from elite competition and tighten restrictions at lower levels of the sport. Ultiworld Disc Golf reached out to the PDGA for clarification on a number of topics regarding the new guidelines; PDGA Director of Marketing Danny Voss agreed to answer questions on behalf of the organization via email. The full responses are below.
Ultiworld Disc Golf: The guidelines say, “Eligibility verification procedures that require documentation from all participants will be implemented for all PDGA Majors.” What does that mean? How will eligibility be verified?
PDGA: A cross-functional team has been working to develop specific eligibility verification procedures. Once that work is complete, we will share those details.
Will the PDGA be doing random blood sampling or drug testing of players?
Not at this time.
Why was the testosterone maximum for transgender women set at 2 nmol/L when that falls within the normal range for cisgender women? This is not a level that other sports federations have selected.
When considering a change to the eligibility criteria, the PDGA board of directors debated various proposals from members of the board, PDGA staff, internal committees, external groups, and PDGA members at-large. The board of directors chose the level that they deemed appropriate.
Is there a timeframe for a review of this policy in the future as more research is done on trans athletes?
The policy is eligible for review annually.
What is the rationale for different eligibility policies for Pro Majors and everything else?
This evaluation balanced a need for fairness with our values of inclusion. The Board concluded that balance was best served by a more stringent policy at the highest level of the sport, FPO Majors, and a more inclusive policy at A-Tiers and below.
Is there going to be any kind of “grace period” put into place given that these guidelines could rule out transgender women who are registered for tournaments in 2023? (i.e. they don’t have blood test documentation, they aren’t below a 2 nmol/L threshold, etc.)
The policy does not contain provisions for exceptions for players or tournaments, and goes into effect on January 1, 2023.
Did the medical subcommittee or BOD consult with any experts in the science of trans athletes?
The subcommittee comprised seven experts with various medical (M.D.) and scientific (Ph.D) backgrounds
Will the PDGA release the rest of the member survey results?
A summary of the available survey data is included with the Board statement.