Female field hockey player sustains neck injuries after playing against trans-identified male in Scotland

MacDonald’s presence on the women’s team prompted "a lot of raised eyebrows," one spectator said.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A biological male playing on a women’s mixed-age field hockey team allegedly injured a young female opponent at a match earlier this year in Scotland.

Greg MacDonald, who goes by "Anna" on social media, was identified by Reduxx as the transgender player in question.

While the specific date of the match and information on the opposing team have been withheld for the protection of the underage player involved, a spectator told the outlet that "MacDonald looked and moved like a rugby player," and was "taller and more muscular than everyone else on the pitch."

The spectator, who asked to remain anonymous, said that MacDonald’s presence on the women’s team prompted "a lot of raised eyebrows" from the crowd.

The source said that while field hockey is not "officially" a contact sport, collisions commonly occur between players both on accident, and when rules aren’t followed.

"MacDonald was trying to tackle a girl who had got behind the defense and had a clear run at goal," the source said. "The tackle from the left is hard to do without making contact, particularly at speed. It was a high-risk maneuver."

The girl was "flattened," he said, and the match came to a halt at she was attended to. The girl was ultimately removed from the game, suffering an injury to the neck, arm, and hip.

"There was a gasp from the spectators," the source says. "A free hit was awarded for the foul, but there were no personal penalties. The game restarted once the injured girl had left the pitch."

The source told Reduxx that following the match, several spectators wrote to Scottish Hockey, the national governing body for field hockey in Scotland, to express concerns about the safety risks its policies have resulted in.

"It is not safe for women, and certainly not for young girls, to be playing in these circumstances. The differences in size, speed and weight are too much," the source added.

Scottish Hockey’s policy on transgender players states that it "wishes to try, as far as is possible, to permit trans people to compete in their affirmed gender while balancing this with its role in providing fair play and competition and protecting the integrity of women’s, men’s and mixed competitions."

"Hockey is a non-contact sport and SH sanctions men’s, mixed and women’s hockey competitions; as such there are no evidenced safety concerns for any trans male or female wishing to take part in sanctioned hockey competitions, in training or friendly/recreational hockey. Accordingly, you should accept people in the gender they present and verification of their identity should be no more than that expected of any other player," the policy later adds for domestic competitions.

"We recognise, however, that there may be some concerns about fairness in the women’s and mixed game. Our policy assumes that trans women (male-to-female trans person) wishing to compete in mixed or female sanctioned hockey competitions do so with the best of intentions and with no intent to deceive about their status to gain any competitive advantage."

For athletes looking to compete on the international stage, they must adhere to rules set forth by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), which follows International Olympic Committee guidance.

These international requirements include a declaration that the athlete is female, testosterone levels below 10nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to their first competition, and testosterone levels remaining under this threshold during competition.

Scotland Hockey allows players to change their name without additional evidence being needed, but requires a birth certificate, deed poll, or doctor’s letter to change a player’s sex.

MacDonald is seen in a post from May 6 posing with the Monarch Hockey Club, celebrating their second trophy win of the week.

A representative from For Women Scotland Sport, a women’s advocacy group, told Reduxx, "Sport is categorized to recognize physical advantage [and] to ensure fairness and safety for players. By including a male in a female team, we are ignoring those physical advantages and risks in favor of identity."


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