Wednesday, September 14, 2011
NCAA Adopts Official Athletic Competition Policy For Trans Student Athletes
The NCAA has adopted and announced an offical policy that allows transgender athletes to compete before and after transition
The new policy had its genesis in an October 2009 think tank on transgender athletes conducted by the NCAA, the National High School Federation, It Takes A Team!, an initiative of the Women's Sports Foundation, Helen Carroll, the Sports Project Director from the National Center For Lesbian Rights and Dr. Pat Griffin, the former director of It Takes a Team!.
The think tank included transgender athletes, and an array of experts on transgender issues from the legal, medical, advocacy groups and athletics and reported its findings in an October 2010 report authored by Carroll and Griffin entitled "On the Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student Athletes.".
According to the new NCAA policy, transgender student-athletes may socially transition by dressing and using the appropriate pronouns that match their gender identity.
Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender.
• A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may
participate on a men’s or women’s team.
• A trans female (MTF) transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatments related to
gender transition may not compete on a women’s team but can do so on a men's one.
If the student-athlete is undergoing a hormonal transition:
* A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for diagnosed Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for purposes of NCAA competition may compete on a men's team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.
* A trans female (MTF) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for the purposes of NCAA competition may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a nixed team status and she completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment.
The NCAA stated the policy "will allow a transgender student athlete to participate in sex-separated sports activities so long as the athlete’s use of hormone therapy is consistent with the NCAA policies and current medical standards.”
NCLR's Sports Project Director Helen Carroll applauded the new NCAA policy.
“I commend the NCAA’s commitment to creating and supporting an inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student athletes," Carroll said. "This new policy that will not only allow, but encourage transgender student athletes to participate on athletic teams. This is truly historic, and it will give transgender student athletes equal access and opportunities to play college-level sports without any obstacles.”
The NCAA policy is not only fair to cis athletes, it is proactive in dealing with the reality that transpeople exist, they transition earlier and it's better to have those policies in place now rather then having to write them in the wake of an adverse legal decision later.