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Cross Gender Policy

Cross‐Gender Entrants for Bridge Events

A bridge player who identified as a woman after having undergone medical procedures for gender reassignment sought to play in a “Women’s” bridge event, the tournament organizers contemplated ruling that the player was ineligible. The ABF Management Committee sought advice as to the formulation of a policy to deal with this situation.

The legal position is somewhat complicated as each state has different legislation. The relevant statutes are listed in the appendix. The appendix also identifies whether gender identity is a prohibited ground of discrimination and whether or not there is an exception for sport. Typically such exception depends on the “strength, stamina or physique of competitors” being relevant.

Questions arise as to whether “bridge” would be considered a sport for the purposes of this legislation but inasmuch as the ABF claims that bridge is a sport we should consider ourselves bound by these provisions. I would further suggest that the central difference between women and other players is not a matter of strength, stamina or physique.

I, therefore, recommend that the ABF Management Committee adopt the following statement of policy for ABF events and recommend its adoption to the Presidents of our constituent associations: “Players who identify as members of a sex are welcome to play in the Women’s or Men’s event as the case may be”.

Jdn Name of Act Illegal as Sport exception
Cth: Sex Discrimination Act
ACT: Discrimination Act 1991 s7(1)(c) gender id s 41 ssp
NSW: Anti Discrimination Act 1977 s 38A (transgender) s 38
NT: Anti Discrimination Act 1981 s 19 (irrelevant medical History) s 56(1) ssp
Qld: Anti‐Discrimination Act 1991 s 7 gender id s 111 (1) (a) ssp
SA: Equal Opportunity Act 1984 s 29 (2a) chosen gender s48 (ssp)
Vic: Equal Opportunity Act 1995 s 6 (ac) gender identity s66 (ssp)
WA: Equal Opportunity Act 1984 s 35AA gender history s35AP (significant performance

Eilis Magner
General Counsel
Australian Bridge Federation

June, 2011

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