MP'S ire over junior cricket's gender questions
Parents of budding cricketers as young as five years of age are being asked if their kids are "gender fluid" or "non-binary" when signing up for their local club under Cricket Australia's transgender policies.
There's even an option to choose "differently identify", but the move has sparked criticism over inappropriate sexual questions about children.
One Nation MP Mark Latham said the questions about gender and sexuality were "irrelevant" for children so young.
"Poor little kids, struggling to work out where deep mid-wicket fields, now have to sift through the gender alphabet," he said.
"It's irrelevant for children that young, another ridiculous obsession with gender fluidity that has to do with playing junior cricket.
"Cricket Australia needs to wake up to themselves and drop the PC nonsense for little kids."
Under its new Inclusion of Transgender and Gender Diverse guidelines introduced in August 2019, Cricket Australia requires that local clubs and indoor sports centres have to provide the option of selecting a "Non-binary Gender Identity" and a "gender non-specific title" on registration forms as well as a "preferred name" and "pronoun" options on registration forms.
"Conventional pronouns are 'she/her/hers' and 'he/him/his'," the policy states.
"Some people prefer to use gender neutral pronouns, such as 'they/them/their/ze'.
"The pronoun a person uses to describe themselves generally reflects their gender identity."
Players or their parents filling out the new rego forms are told they can now participate in cricket comps in "accordance with their gender identity, whether or not this accords with the sex they were assigned at birth" as long as this identity is consistent with the gender ID they use in other aspects of ordinary life.
The new guidelines also require clubs consider changing signage to make facilities unisex or gender neutral.
"People who identify as Non-binary may prefer to use unisex or gender-neutral facilities," the cricket policy states.
"Change room and shower arrangements should be considered to ensure that are suitable for all participants."
When the new policy was introduced, concerns were raised by prominent paediatrics Professor John Whitehall from Western Sydney University that allowing players who were previously male to play in female games could damage women's sport.
"This will bring unfair competition by males," he said.
Asked if questions about children's sexuality were inappropriate, a Cricket Australia spokesman responded: "We want to create the best experience for anybody playing cricket and that includes providing an inclusive environment.
"Cricket Australia is one of many national sporting organisations guided by the national benchmarking tool in the Pride in Sport Index, which indicates sports need to be more inclusive when it comes to gender indicators.
"It's been 12 months since Cricket Australia launched our guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in cricket."
Originally published as Junior cricket kids asked if they're 'gender fluid'