PDGA Policy on Eligibility for Gender Protected Divisions
PDGA Policy on Eligibility for Gender Protected Divisions
The PDGA is committed to providing competitive disc golf opportunities for all players by providing divisions based on skill level, age, and gender. The definitions of skill- and age-based categories are detailed in the PDGA Divisions, Ratings & Points Factors Table. This policy builds upon those definitions by providing clarification regarding eligibility for competition in gender protected divisions.
The gender protected divisions in the PDGA begin with the letter F (female). Divisions which are not gender-protected begin with the letter M (mixed). For simplicity, all PDGA members are listed in the PDGA database under one of two gender options:
- Male – Players who are only eligible to play in mixed divisions
- Female – Players who are eligible to play in gender protected divisions
A. Recognition of International Standards
- The PDGA follows the International Olympic Committee (IOC) standards for determination of eligibility for gender protected divisions, and this policy will be reviewed as IOC standards change. The current IOC standard was developed at the IOC Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism in November 2015.
- All players who were at birth:
- chromosomally female; or
- intersex and assigned female gender; or
- chromosomally male and having Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, Swyer’s Syndrome, or a similar androgen-blocking syndrome and assigned female gender; and who are not taking hormone treatments to increase testosterone levels may participate in gender protected divisions with no further demonstration of eligibility. All other players must consult the guidelines below to determine their eligibility.
B. Transgender – Female to Male
- Players who were assigned female gender under the criteria detailed above and who are taking hormone treatments to increase testosterone levels are no longer eligible to compete in gender protected divisions.
- These players must inform the PDGA when hormone treatments commence by submitting a completed PDGA Gender Reclassification Form to the PDGA Medical Committee.
- After review by the PDGA Medical Committee, the gender designation of the applicant will be changed to male in the PDGA database.
C. Transgender – Male to Female
Players who were assigned male gender at birth and are taking hormone replacement therapy and/or testosterone suppression medication related to gender transition are eligible to compete in a gender protected division at a PDGA event only if one of the following sets of criteria are met:
Transgender Hormone Therapy
- The player has been taking continuous hormone therapy under medical supervision for a period of at least 12 months before competing in a gender protected division; and
- The player’s total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to the PDGA event, demonstrated by at least three blood tests throughout this time interval; and
- The player’s total testosterone level in serum must continue to remain below 10 nmol/L in the future. If the player ceases hormone treatment they are no longer eligible to compete in gender protected divisions and must inform the PDGA by submission of a completed PDGA Gender Reclassification Form to the PDGA Medical Committee; and
- Submission by the player or their physician of the completed PDGA Gender Reclassification Form to the PDGA Medical Committee for evaluation; and
- The player is required to inform the PDGA if hormone treatment is suspended.
Gender Reassignment Surgery
- Successful completed male-to-female gender reassignment surgery declaration from a physician; and
- The total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for 12 months prior to the PDGA event (combination of blood test verified hormone treatment pre-surgery and time post-surgery); and
- Submission of the completed PDGA Gender Reclassification Form to the PDGA Medical Committee for evaluation.
Transgender male-to-female applications will be reviewed by the PDGA Medical Committee and, if the criteria are met, the gender designation of the applicant will be changed to female in the PDGA database.
D. Implementation of Policy
When a PDGA member applies to change their gender from male to female, they must submit a variety of documentation. This includes:
- Physician statement confirming continued and uninterrupted hormone treatment for at least 12 months to the current date
- Laboratory reports of blood testosterone levels, including at least three test results covering a period of at least 12 months to the current date
If the applicant has undergone gender reassignment surgery they will also provide proof of this procedure. If the applicant has not undergone surgery they must sign an attestation that they will inform the PDGA Medical Committee if there is any interruption or discontinuation in hormone treatment.
The documentation is reviewed by one of the physicians on the PDGA Medical Committee. The physician will determine if the documentation is sufficient and will direct any questions to the treating physician if required. Upon satisfactory review, the physician will provide a recommendation to the PDGA Membership Manager to change the status of the member from male to female.
This medical information is private and highly sensitive. There are federal laws that mandate procedures to be followed with such information, which is why it is submitted to a registered physician only.
E. Tournament Director Responsibilities
Tournament Directors and PDGA Staff have access to view the gender of competitors in the PDGA database, and their only obligation is to ensure that the gender of each competitor matches the division in which they are registered.
Please contact the PDGA Medical Committee if you have any further questions about this process.