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New NCAA Policy Allows Provisions For Transgender Athletes


The NCAA Executive Committee has approved new policies to allow transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.  According to NCAA.org, the organization approved the policy at the August meeting was mailed on Sept. 7.

“As a core value, the NCAA believes in and is committed to diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and administrators,” stated NCAA Director of Inclusion Karen Morrison in a memo to NCAA members.

She continued, “Since participation in athletics provides student-athletes a unique and positively powerful experience, the goals of these policies are to create opportunity for transgender student-athletes to participate in accordance with their gender identity while maintaining the relative balance of competitive equity within sports teams.”

The policy states that transgendered will be allowed to play in gender-separated sports as long as the student-athlete’s use of hormone therapy, to achieve a desired gender role, is consistent with NCAA and medical standards.  The NCAA states:

• A trans male (female to male) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for gender transition may compete on a men’s team but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing the team status to a mixed team.   A mixed team is eligible only for men’s championships.

• A trans female (male to female) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for gender transition may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of documented testosterone-suppression treatment.

The new policy was aided by a report from the National Center on Lesbian Rights and Women’s Sports Foundation, which was published October 2010.  The report provided guidelines on how colleges should include student-athletes who are transitioning or have transitioned from one gender to another.

The NCAA plans to provide resources to members such as a resource book for transgendered athletes, a slideshow for administrators and an educational Video from Betsy Crane, the director of graduate programs in human sexuality at Widener University.

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