Female Darts Player Forfeits Match In Protest Of Transgender Male Participating In Women’s Competition

Natasha Biase

A female darts player has stirred up controversy after refusing to play against a trans-identified male competitor. Deta Hedman, a three-time WDF World Champion runner-up, was set to face biologically male Noa-Lynn van Leuven in the quarter-finals at the WDF Denmark Open in Esbjerg, but forfeited the match in protest.

Although some news outlets and reporters, like Online Dart‘s Phill Barrs, falsely reported that 64-year-old Hedman dropped out of the open due to an illness, she quickly debunked their claims on X, firmly stating she had forfeited because she refused to compete against a man at a women’s event.

According to pro-woman news outlet Reduxx, Hedman had been outspoken against 27-year-old Van Leuven’s participation in women’s tournaments in the past, repeatedly calling on darts associations to bar him from competing against women. 

Several days before she was scheduled to compete against Van Leuven, who was sent to the semifinals after her withdrawal, Hedman decried his participation on her Facebook account by sharing a graphic advocating for female athletes.

“Women & girls deserve to be CHAMPIONS in their own sports,” read the graphic.

Last year, Hedman, who has been playing darts since the 1980s, named Van Leuven in a statement on male participation in female darts.

Speaking with Darts World, Hedman stressed that women in her industry have fought to gain recognition in the world of darts as part of the reason she struggles with trans-identified males playing in the women’s [world-ranked] events.

“So after years of struggle, women got the right to showcase their skills on the World Stage. Then came the acceptance of trans women being allowed to play in Women’s sports by WDF, PDC, county darts and independent events,” she continued, adding that she has been opposed to males being allowed to self-identify into women’s sports from the start.

“I have no problem with transgenders in life, I’m not close to Noa-Lynn in darts, but in fairness 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.”

Continuing, she implied that the reason there has been little pushback from darts organizations is because many fear there will be legal repercussions for refusing to let trans-identified males participate against women.

“This has been mentioned at board meetings, but everybody in all [organizations] are worried of legal challenges, and they needed scientific proof a trans has an advantage of a biological [woman] who the woke brigade call a CIS woman.”

In addition to claiming male participation has disrupted a level playing field in the sport, the United Kingdom-based darts player also hinted at her retirement if men like Van Leuven can continue to compete against women and girls.

 ”Always said I would stop playing when the enjoyment has gone from playing, think the present issues with the ladies’ game that time is getting closer.”

Hedman is not the first woman to refuse to compete against van Leuven at darts. As previously reported by Reduxx, Aileen de Graaf and Anca Zijlstra similarly quit the Dutch Women’s Team in March after van Leuven, who began his transition from male to female as a teenager, dominated the Women’s Series tournament. 

“With pain in my heart… The moment I am ashamed to play for the Dutch Team because a biological man plays for the women’s team, it is time to go. I have tried to accept this, but I cannot condone this. I believe that in sports there should be an equal and fair playing field, which should be used and accepted in good faith. After all, we have worked so hard to be relevant and competitive in this sport,” explained Zijlstra in a written statement on Facebook.

“I have always considered it an honor to represent our country, and I will always be open to returning to the National Team,” she concluded, adding that she hopes people will come to their senses about allowing men to participate in women’s sports.

Share this Article


Leave a Reply

Latest News