NCAA Releases New Guidelines for Transgender Student-Athletes
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) just established new guidelines for transgender student-athletes. Effective immediately. the policy is aimed at allowing the student-athlete to participate in competition in accordance with their gender identity while maintaining the relative balance of competitive equity among sports teams.
The new rule states that a transgender athlete who has transitioned from male to female can participate in women's sports after one year of hormone treatment. The rule also clarifies that athletes who transition from female to male by taking testosterone are not eligible for women's sports, but may be eligible for men's sports. A transgender athlete who transitions socially but not physically is still eligible for the sport that matches their birth sex. For example, Kye Allums plays women's basketball for George Washington, based on the fact that "he" has not undergone any physical transition that involves testosterone.
GW Basketball Player Kye Allums (Credit Image: © JC Ridley/Cal Sport Media/ZUMAPRESS.com)
The policy, lauded by many advocates for equality and inclusion, is largely based on recommendations included in On The Team: Equal Opportunities for Transgender Student-Athletes, which Pat Griffin co-authored with Helen Carroll of the NCLR Sports Project. On her blog, Pat applauds the NCAA for being proactive in adopting the policy. In discussing the changes, she writes:
I’ve found in working with coaches and sports administrators that most have extremely limited information about transgender identity and lots of misinformation and concerns about what it means to enable transgender athletes to participate on sports teams according to their gender identity.