Tap Cancer Out is and always has been an inclusive tournament as we aim to fulfill our vision of giving every grappler the opportunity to fight for those in the fight of their lives. With regards to transgender athletes competing in a Tap Cancer Out event, we do work within a policy that strives to provide fairness, inclusivity, and safety throughout all our divisions.
Below outlines the current Tap Cancer Out protocols for transgender athletes. This policy is subject to change.
We require that transgender athletes identify themselves to Tap Cancer Out staff ahead of time ONLY if they wish to compete specifically within a Female division at any belt level.
This can be done privately by either
- Emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Filling out the Contact Us form here – https://tapcancerout.org/contact-us/
This will allow us to discuss preferences and options ahead of time and to make the athlete aware of our protocols. This also allows them to provide us any additional context that may help guide our decisions. A transgender competitor that does not do this is considered in violation of our policy and their results, should there be any, will be considered invalid.
If we are made aware of a transgender athlete in a female division after the division has commenced, we will pause the division and discuss our policy options below. The results of prior matches between any of the athletes in the division may or may not be honored depending on a number of factors (though we will do our best to make sure they count).
If a transgender athlete (male or female) wishes to compete in the Male division, they are not required to identify themselves ahead of time. They can if they wish and that may be helpful for context in certain situations, but it is not necessary.
All female divisions will run with biological females only.
The female competitors at or within an acceptable and safe range of the transgender athlete’s weight / belt will be given the opportunity to compete in a second, optional division that includes the transgender athlete OR simply fight in a one-off exhibition match specifically with the transgender athlete. These discussions may happen as a group or individually, depending on division size, scheduling, time constraints, etc, and typically will happen before their initial divisions take place (though they are obviously free to change their mind after their initial division has concluded). The ultimate decision of whether to have exhibition matches or a full division (with medals) will depend on number of willing competitors.
If two or more transgender athletes prefer to have their own division, that can be done as well.
If there are no willing competitors or no competitors registered in the transgender athlete’s division, the final option for the transgender female athlete is to compete in the appropriate Male division according to belt/weight/age.
If any of these options are not preferred by any athlete and result in them not having any matches, a full refund will be provided or a credit to a future event (if no registration fee was paid due to fundraising).
Regardless of the situation, we are a very flexible and inclusive organization. We never disqualify someone for missing weight or registering incorrectly (only if they show up late and their division has already been called). At every tournament we are setting up extra divisions / matches to ensure that everyone has a chance to fight for those in the fight of their lives. Our transgender policy is no different than how we handle competitors who end up alone in their division but can not move up in weight or belt (or down in age) due to competitor availability. We have welcomed numerous transgender athletes over the years and have worked with them to ensure both their preferences and our policy are mutually understood.