Deta Hedman wants to ban transgenders in ladies darts ranking events

Deta Hedman has spoken out against the participation of transgender people in women's darts ranking tournaments in an extensive statement on Facebook. According to her, this is not creating a level playing field.

Last week, an article appeared on stating that several leading players do not want transgender players to have access to the women's circuit. One international player is even said to have already decided that she no longer wants to compete in tournaments as long as transgender players are allowed to enter.

According to sources, whose names are known to the editors, Deta Hedman had raised dissatisfaction about transgender participation with the World Darts Federation (WDF) board. Prior to the publication of the article, Paul James, husband and spokesperson of Hedman, was contacted. In a response, the aforementioned information was dismissed as "bullshit and factually incorrect". They also threatened with solicitors if publication took place. From Hedman's statement published on Tuesday, the story does appear to be true despite an earlier denial.

''For many months I've struggled with transgenders playing in the women's world ranked events'', writes Hedman in the beginning of her statement.

''For years since the late 1980's myself and others fought to get better recognition for women's darts and having our own World Championships with little success. It wasn't until Trina Gulliver accepted an invitation to appear in the PDC World Championships that the BDO decided to hold a ladies championship. The first event featured just four ladies, which rose to eight until 2014 when it went up to 16 ladies. I believe it was 2013 when the winner went up to £10,000 but the runner up was £2,000. At its peak it was 12k and 5K (for the)runner up. To get to this level was an effort and we fought for every single gain we got. Then the WDF stepped up to the plate and ladies top prize went up to £25,000. Whilst on the WDF board, myself and others got the agreement for the first ever Girls World championship, which I'm very proud of. So after years of struggle women got the right to showcase their skills on the World Stage.''

The next step in the development of women's darts appeared to be the acceptance of transgender players by the WDF, PDC and national associations. Transgender players are starting to gain a foothold in the sport of darts. For instance, Noa-Lynn van Leuven made her appearance at the Women's World Matchplay earlier this year. And recently followed Victoria Monaghan's participation at Lakeside.

''I have thought this is wrong since day one'', states Hedman. ''I have no problem with transgenders in life. I'm not close to Noa lynn in darts but in fairness she seems a lovely person. At Lakeside i met Victoria Monaghan and must admit she is a right character we had banter and a fair few laughs at lakeside. But my personal view is trans shouldn't be playing in women's ranked events.''

Hedman then raised this opinion with the WDF. ''This has been mentioned at board meetings but everybody in all organisations are worried of legal challenges and they needed scientific proof a trans has an advantage of a biological women.''

Hedman then decided to contract with Dr Linda Duffy, a former world number one in ladies darts. ''Linda has had articles published showing exactly why trans players have advantages over biological women, especially when they have gone through puberty as a male (...). In my opinion those ( mainly men ) who say no reasons why women cant play as well as men are talking out of their rear end.''

In September during the WDF World Cup in Denmark, the subject came up again. ''I asked for players to E-mail in any problems they wanted brought up in the players meeting. Apparantely I mentioned the trans issue twice, which resulted in a darts organisation getting a complaint about me and a PDC official having a moan at Paul (James). The reason the trans issue was mentioned twice is the overwhelming issue with ladies players is the transgender participation in women's darts. E-mails sent into the athletes commission of WDF were 90% about trans and only 1 of those were in support saying we should sit and chat as Noa is a really nice person. Nobody is disputing that at all, it's just my belief and many other women players, trans shouldn't be in Women's ranked events.''

One player approached Hedman and in that conversation openly doubted her future in women's darts. ''At the recent Killarney Festival a very good lady player who has played at the top end of WDF events and the PDC Women's Series came to me in tears saying this issue is really getting to her and is considering walking away from darts. Every event I'm at including WDF, ADC, PDC the vast majority think this is wrong and damaging to women's darts.''

In the end of her statement Hedman writes that she hopes talented girls and women will not have to compete against transgender people in the future. ''This argument is not to help me at 64. I could walk away from the sport I love tomorrow. This is for the Eleanor Cairns, Aurora Fochesato, Paige Pauling and Hannah Meek starting their dart careers. If we are going to have a girls or women's world championship it should be the gender of your birth, which in my view is a fair and level playing field.''

Deta Hedman wants to ban transgenders in ladies darts ranking events
Deta Hedman wants to ban transgenders in ladies darts ranking events
Read more about:
WDF Lakeside Deta Hedman

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments