Transgender players given green light by Ladies Gaelic Football Association

Players will have to make an application to a new body and will only be barred where ‘unacceptable risk’ arises

The Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) has introduced a new policy that allows transgender women and girls to play the sport except in circumstances where an “unacceptable risk” arises.

The new policy, which was ratified on Wednesday, states the association “is committed to the inclusion” of transgender women and that it “will not tolerate any harassment or discrimination”.

The policy applies to all transgender women and girls over the age of 12 who seek to play or continue playing the sport.

Transgender players “who have transitioned or are transitioning from male to female” are required to make an application to a new Transgender Application Committee.


Players under 16 are required to provide confirmation from a medical practitioner that they have transitioned or are transitioning from male to female and “intend to live their life as a female”.

Players aged 16 and over are required to provide confirmation from a medical practitioner, or alternatively they can provide a Gender Recognition Certificate. They are also required to provide medical records showing their testosterone levels during the previous 12 months were equal to or less than 10 nanomoles per litre.

The association said it intends that those whose applications are approved “are supported in doing so in a safe and inclusive environment”.

The LGFA said it “acknowledges that this area continues to rapidly develop”. It said it would review the policy and application form “at least every three years”.

Transgender women are eligible to play at all levels of the LGFA, both club and county, provided they have not been the subject of any decision by the LGFA Transgender Risk Committee “with regard to any unacceptable risk arising”, the policy states.

“Where the association is made aware that an unacceptable risk may arise from a transwoman’s potential, or ongoing, participation in ladies Gaelic football, the association must refer the matter to the LGFA Transgender Risk Committee,” it said.

“It is expected that unacceptable risks will likely only arise in the most exceptional circumstances and will not arise solely from the mere participation of a transwoman’s participation.”

Where the risk committee determines that an unacceptable risk arises it must “immediately and confidentially notify the affected party, or parent or guardian as appropriate, of the decision ... and the reasons for the determination”.

“A determination that an unacceptable risk arises will result in the affected party not being permitted to continue playing Ladies Gaelic Football,” the policy states.

The LGFA policy states that the affected party’s club or potential club may be notified “to ensure the affected party does not continue to play”.

A transgender woman or girl who is not permitted to continue playing may request a review of the determination within seven days.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter