School Sports

Trans* Youth Athletes

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The NCAA has released guidelines on trans* youth inclusion in sports NCAA-level sports. The  highlights of the NCAA guidelines are:

  • Trans* youth should be granted equal opportunities to play sports. “Once we recognize that transgender young people are part of school communities across the United States, educational leaders have a responsibility to ensure that these students have access to equal opportunities in all academic and extracurricular activities.” (3)
  • Trans* athletes do not have an “unfair advantage” over cis-gender athletes. In response to concerns that trans* athletes, particularly trans* women, have an “unfair” physical advantage over cis-gender athletes, the NCAA says that (1) trans* athletes do not transition for the purposes of gaining a competitive advantage on a sports team, and (2) this argument is based on over-generalizations about body type — trans* athletes are not automatically taller, faster, stronger, or more skilled than cis-gender athletes. (7-10)
  • Schools need to make reasonable modifications to school policies to accommodate trans* athletes if necessary. The NCAA provides guidance on how to modify school policies.

What if you’re taking hormones? 

  • For trans* athletes taking testosterone: (1) the NCAA institution may submit a request for a medical exception “prior to the student-athlete competing while undergoing treatment” at: http://www.ncaa.org/drugtesting; (2) trans male athletes may compete on male teams; (3) trans male athletes receiving testosterone may compete on female teams, but the team will be recategorized as a “mixed” team with at least one person of each gender. (12) 
  • For trans* athletes  taking testosterone suppression hormones: (1)   the NCAA institution “must submit written documentation to the NCAA of the year of treatment and ongoing monitoring of testosterone suppression”; (2) trans female athletes being treated with testosterone suppression medication may continue to compete on a men’s team; (3) trans female athletes may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment. (12)

What if I am not taking hormones? 

  • 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.”(13)

Want to read the complete NCAA guidelines? Click here.