The Australian Football League has announced that Hannah Mouncey is eligible to play this year in any state league controlled by the AFL or its affiliated state bodies.
Mouncey made headlines in the middle of 2017 when she declared she would nominate for the forthcoming AFLW Draft, and in doing so would have become the first transwoman to play in the competition if picked up by one of the eight AFL Women’s teams.
Just two days out from the draft, the league blocked Mouncey’s nomination on the belief that she would have an unfair physical advantage over the semi-professional AFLW players, but confusingly cleared her to play against amateur women’s footballers.
After Mouncey’s national competition rejection, she flagged her interest to move from Canberra – where she played at Ainslie – to Melbourne and participate in the VFL Women’s competition.
It’s thought around this time AFL Victoria, along with other state bodies, requested guidance from the AFL on rules around transgender athletes playing in their competition, considering that league headquarters was basing its initial national competition rejection of Mouncey based on the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s guidelines ‘Trans and gender diverse inclusion is sport – complying with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010’.
The AFL’s General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy, Tanya Hosch claimed the league was committed to ensuring fair and even competition, as well as breaking down barriers to participating in the sport of Australian football.
“We’re committed to inclusion, and want all Australians to be able to play or participate in our game,” Hosch said in a statement issued by the AFL.
“These are complex issues and we’re considering expert opinion, international frameworks, and feedback from the communities that are impacted by our decisions.”
The news was originally tweeted by Mouncey herself shorly after 5pm (AEDT) on Tuesday afternoon.
So after all that; guess who’s allowed to play football after all.
Seeing as how my phone won’t stop buzzing I will comment shortly
— Hannah Mouncey 🤾♀️ (@HannahMouncey) February 13, 2018
It’s believed Ms Hannah Mouncey will most likely make an official statement soon via The Guardian or Roar Sports, who she has been writing for during this AFLW season.
It’s also believed that she has an open invitation from Victorian club Darebin, and could be wearing the Falcons jumper in the VFL Women’s competition come this May.
The AFL is still yet to finalise its Gender Diversity Policy.