Transgender AFLW Contender Hannah Mouncey Declined Right To Play

In the midst of the 2018 AFLW draft, the AFL body was required to hand down their decision as to whether Mouncey would be allowed to be drafted, and therefore play in the AFLW competition. On Wednesday the governing body declined this right, as a statement released by the AFL noted that Mouncey’s physical disparity was significant and would provide her an unreasonable advantage in competition. 

Mouncey who stands at 190cm tall and weighs over 100kg has been on hormone treatment since 2015 and in 2017 played 8 games for Ainslie in Canberra’s women’s competition. This motion challenges sporting codes worldwide as Mouncey meets the required hormone levels to play competitive sport as a female. 

 Photo By: Kym Smith

Photo By: Kym Smith

Mouncey has released a statement saying she accepted the decision. “While I am disappointed with the AFL’s decision regarding my participation in the AFLW draft, I accept the league’s decision and thank them for the genuine way in which they approached my situation,” she said.

“Despite not being able to take part in the draft, I note that while I am not able to compete in the AFLW this season, the AFL has given me the all clear to play for Ainslie next year in the AFL Canberra competition for which I am very grateful and look forward to doing in 2018, before hopefully being able to nominate for next year’s draft.”

Despite the AFL’s ruling, other codes including Handball have shown their support toward Mouncey, as a former player, tweeting that they “love having you [Mouncey] in Handball and see you at the AOCC 2018! #Equality”. (@handballVic)

The AOCC is the ‘Australian & OceanianClub Championship’, which is the largest Handball event since the Sydney Olympics. The courage of the AOCC is accept Mouncey as a legitimate female Handball player is a precedent that all sporting-codes should follow. 

With the controversy of the draft, many publications have noted that a potential law suit could be faced by the AFL, but currently Mouncey is looking forward to the 2018 women’s football season.

This decision begs the question of to what degree the AFL will be willing to allow transgendered players to compete in the football league in the future.

The AFLW draft was held yesterday featuring 48 new draftees lining up for teams Australia wide. The second year of the league will commence in February 2018.