As part of the Gay Games, there were at least two transgender athletes competing in the US Open. A transgender female athlete would have to be granted access to women’s locker rooms, bathrooms, or other spaces that transgender women (they would be allowed to compete in women’s events if they were granted access to the women’s team, but they would still be required to use the women’s locker rooms) are allowed to use. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires that athletes be segregated by sex. The IOC’s policy on transgender-athlete participation (known as “Sex Reassignment”) states that any athlete who is changing sex after the age of 18 cannot compete in the women’s category.
In 2016, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) required all NCAA member schools to provide equal opportunity for transgender athletes competing in their sex-specific sports. This policy update comes after years of debate and consultation with various constituencies, including the NCAA Board of Governors and staff, and its medical and legal advisors. The NCAA is committed to supporting all student-athletes and ensuring that they compete without any form of discrimination.
There is no federal or state law that addresses transgender participation in school athletics. However, since the Obama administration began updating Title IX, states have been increasingly turning to Title IX to determine transgender inclusion in their athletic programs. States are moving in the direction of including transgender athletes, but they are also taking a variety of approaches.
Although the NCAA and the International Olympic Committee have regulations regulating transgender athletes’ participation in sports, there is no standard policy in the United States for youth sports in elementary, middle, or high schools. Each state, on the other hand, has its own set of principles, regulations, and/or legislation. Here’s a look at the present regulations in an ever-changing environment as of Sept. 1, 2021, state by state.
Gov. Kay Ivey signed HB 391 into law on April 23, 2021, establishing separate sports categories based on gender in K-12 public schools and prohibiting athletes born male from competing in the females category under any circumstances. It also prohibits athletes born female from competing in the males division unless no equivalent girls opportunity exists (like football). In addition, the Alabama High School Athletic Association has a regulation that determines sex based on the original birth certificate.
In Alaska, schools decide transgender athlete eligibility, and if a school does not have a policy, the sex of a student is determined by their birth certificate. Although a bill was filed during the 2021 legislative session, the Alaska School Activities Association does not have a policy and there is no state legislation. It was not approved.
Governor Asa Hutchinson signed Senate Bill 354 in March. Transgender girls and women are prohibited from participating in girls’ and women’s sports under the legislation. After the legislature overrode Hutchinson’s veto, Arkansas became the first state to enact a prohibition on gender-affirming healthcare for transgender children, but the legislation has been halted in federal court.
A multistep method is used by the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Students must first notify their school, then AIA. They must then submit the following documents: a letter outlining the student’s “gender narrative,” a letter of support from a parent or guardian, a letter from a school official, and a letter from a healthcare professional. The Gender Identity Eligibility Committee, established by AIA, determines the student’s eligibility. Several legislation aiming at limiting transgender participation have been proposed in Arizona’s legislature, but none have yet passed.
AB 1266, which was enacted into law in 2013, mandates that transgender kids have access to restrooms and sports teams based on their gender identification. The policy of the California Interscholastic Federation is similar to the legislation, but it includes an appeals procedure in the event of a disagreement. There are no specified medical or legal criteria.
In Colorado, students must notify their school in writing if their gender identification varies from their biological sex, and the Colorado High School Activities Association mandates the school to conduct a private assessment. There are no medical or legal criteria for any of the types of paperwork.
In Connecticut, school districts decide where each athlete should be placed, although the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference advises that districts base their choices on the gender identification indicated in school records and the kids’ everyday activities. There are no prerequisites in terms of health or law. A law was proposed in the state legislature in 2021 that would prohibit transgender females from playing on girls’ and women’s teams, but it did not pass.
The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association enables transgender adolescents to compete in sports that correspond to their gender identification if they meet the following criteria: A physician certifies that a student has “received adequate clinical treatment” for medical transition or has started a medical transition by providing an updated birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license that acknowledges the student’s identification. Each school decides a student’s eligibility, and any institution may deny a transgender student’s participation if there are safety or competitive equality issues.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1028 on June 1, 2021, which says that sex for sports participation in interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, and club public school settings would be determined by a “official birth certificate” submitted at or around the time of birth. Boys and men’s sports are open to those designated female at birth, while girls and women’s sports are closed to those assigned male at birth.
Individual Georgia high schools choose their own athletic categorization rules, and the Georgia High School Association does not hear appeals or offer advice. The association would enable a transgender girl to play on a girls’ team or a transgender male to participate on a boys’ squad if a Georgia school chose to do so. During the 2021 legislative session, legislation was proposed to restrict transgender athletes’ ability to participate in sports, but no legislation was enacted.
There is no discernible policy in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, and there is no legislation in the state. In 2021, a law was introduced that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ and women’s athletics, but it did not pass.
In March 2020, Idaho became the first state to adopt legislation limiting transgender kids’ access to sports. HB 500, signed by Gov. Brad Little, prohibits kids born male from participating in females’ sports in public elementary, middle, high school, or college. It covers intramural and club sports. A federal court issued a preliminary injunction in August 2020, preventing the legislation from taking effect. HB 500’s wording is mirrored in the Idaho High School Activities Association’s policy.
Student-athlete eligibility is determined by the Illinois High School Association. If a student’s gender identification varies from the sex given at birth, they must inform the school and submit medical proof. When reviewing decisions, the IHSA convenes a panel of medical professionals to serve as advisors. Illinois proposed legislation limiting transgender girls’ rights to play on girls’ and women’s teams, but it did not pass during the 2021 session.
The Indiana High School Athletic Association uses birth certificates to establish eligibility for sex-segregated sports. Students, on the other hand, may ask for a waiver. Students must demonstrate that they have been socially transitioning for at least one year to be eligible. Transgender guys must provide proof that they have started hormone treatment. Transgender females must provide proof that they have undergone at least one year of hormone treatment or surgery, and that any further physiological benefits have been negated (bone density, muscle mass, testosterone levels, etc.). The waiver is decided by a committee assembled by the IHSAA. It must be a unanimous vote.
Two rules are in place because Iowa is the only state in the nation with distinct high school organizations for boys and girls. Transgender males are allowed to compete in Iowa High School Athletic Association (boys sports) without any medical or legal limitations. Member schools determine eligibility determinations in girls’ athletics. Although the Iowa Females High School Athletic Union does not have a policy, it does encourage its members to take transgender girls into account when determining eligibility determinations. During the 2021 legislative session, Gov. Kim Reynolds said that she would approve a law prohibiting transgender females from participating in sports, but no bill reached her desk.
Kansas schools decide each student’s proper athletic placement. Schools should evaluate gender identity for school records, medical evidence, and possible “gender identity-related benefits” if the student is permitted to participate, according to the Kansas State High School Activities Association. The organization is in charge of handling disputes and appeals. Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a bill that would have prohibited transgender girls from participating in girls’ and women’s sports in April of 2021.
The Kentucky High School Activities Association regulation says that until kids are “legally reassigned,” their eligibility for sex-segregated sports will be decided by their birth certificate. A student may submit an updated birth certificate, passport, drivers’ license, or other verified medical document to a school official to be considered “reassigned.” A student who has been reassigned is eligible to participate if they have never had endogenous puberty or if they have undergone surgery and have been on hormone treatment for “a significant period of time.” In 2021, a measure was proposed that would have banned transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports in public schools from kindergarten through college, but it was not passed.
Although the Louisiana High School Athletic Association does not have an official policy, it does offer advice in the form of a position statement to its member schools. This statement states that unless a pupil has “undergone sex-reassignment,” eligibility in sex-segregated sports should be decided by birth certificate. Transgender students should go through a hardship appeal procedure, which assembles a committee to determine their eligibility. If a transgender student has never experienced endogenous puberty or if the following conditions are met: surgery, all legal documentation has been updated, and hormone therapy has been administered for “a sufficient length of time,” the statement recommends that they be eligible to participate in accordance with their gender identity. The suggestion is that a student’s eligibility should not begin until two years after surgery. Gov. John Bel Edwards rejected a bill preventing transgender girls from participating in girls’ and women’s sports in 2021.
The Maine Principals’ Association guideline provides processes for student-athletes who want to participate in a gender-neutral category. The school must be notified, and the school must seek a hearing with the Gender Identity Equity Committee. School records, medical paperwork, evidence establishing the legitimacy of the student’s gender identification, a list of sports activities in which the student wants to engage, and documentation of the student’s previous athletic background and accomplishments must all be provided by the student. Unless the committee doubts the student’s identification or thinks the student would gain an athletic advantage, the committee will approve the request. In 2021, a measure was introduced that would limit transgender females’ ability to engage in girls’ and women’s sports, but it did not become law.
Local school districts may use the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Association’s guidelines to evaluate if transgender pupils are eligible. The guidelines state that regardless of what is recorded on the student’s records, each student should be permitted to engage in accordance with their gender identification. If a student’s gender identification is a source of concern, it should be investigated on a case-by-case basis by forming an appeal review committee. There are no specified medical or legal prerequisites.
Existing state law, according to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, requires students to be “recognized by their schools as the gender with which they identify throughout all school activities.” Local schools determine eligibility decisions, but the MIAA separates sports based on gender identification rather than sex. “A student must not be barred from participating on a gender-specific sports team that is compatible with the student’s bona fide gender identification,” the rule says.
Transgender males are allowed to engage in boys’ sports without limitation, according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association. The MHSAA executive director decides on transgender females on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the sex stated on legal papers and any medical measures taken, if any. A measure was proposed that would have prohibited transgender athletes from playing on teams that matched their gender identification, but it did not become law.
Transgender kids are welcome to join in the Minnesota High School League regardless of their gender identification. There are no prerequisites in terms of health or law. In 2021, a measure was proposed in the Minnesota legislature that would have limited the ability of transgender athletes to engage in sports, but it did not pass.
In March, Gov. Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2536, becoming Mississippi the first state in 2021 to pass legislation restricting transgender athletes’ participation in sports. Student-athletes designated male at birth are prohibited from participating in females’ sports in public elementary, middle, high school, or college, according to the legislation. It covers intramural and club sports. Although the Human Rights Campaign has said that it intends to sue, no lawsuits have yet been filed.
A hormone-based policy is used by the Missouri State High School Activities Association. To participate in a category other than their sex given at birth, all transgender students must submit an application. Transgender males who have not started hormone treatment are allowed to participate in boys’ sports and are required to do so if they have started hormone therapy. Unless they’ve been on hormone treatment for a year, transgender females may only participate in boy’s sports. In 2021, legislation was proposed that would limit transgender athletes’ ability to compete in sports that match their gender identification, but it did not pass.
Gov. Greg Gianforte signed HB 112, which prohibits children designated male at birth from participating in females’ sports in public elementary, middle, high school, or college, into law in May of 2021. It covers intramural and club sports.
Students’ birth certificates are used by the Nebraska School Activities Association to establish their eligibility for sex-segregated sports. Transgender students must meet the following criteria to participate in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity: the student lives as their gender identity; testimony from parents, friends, and/or teachers attesting to the validity of the student’s gender identity; and verification from a healthcare professional. Additionally, transgender females must have undergone one year of hormone treatment or surgery and show that they have no additional benefits via a “medical examination and physiological testing.” For transsexual guys, there are no specific criteria. To be considered, a student’s school must decide that they fulfill the NSAA’s criteria and submit an application to the organization. A committee will be formed by the NSAA to evaluate applications. If a student’s request is rejected, there is an appeal procedure.
The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association offers policy advice and a position statement, but it is not a regulating body. According to the advice, schools should make the first assessment of a student’s eligibility based on the student’s school records and daily activities at school and in the community. Additional evidence supplied by the student may be taken into account by the school. There are no specified medical or legal prerequisites.
New Hampshire is a state in the United States.
In New Hampshire, individual schools decide where student-athletes should be placed. According to the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association, a student’s eligibility to participate in gender-specific sports should be determined based on the student’s gender identification as evidenced in school records and daily life activities in school and in the community. There are no specified medical or legal prerequisites. During the 2021 legislative session in New Hampshire, a bill was proposed to prohibit transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports, but it did not become law.
New Jersey is a state in the United States.
Transgender kids may participate according to their sex given at birth or in a way consistent with their gender identification, but not both, according to New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association regulation. There are no specified medical or legal criteria. Any member school may challenge a transgender student’s eligibility, and the appeal will be considered by a committee. In 2021, a law was introduced that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ and women’s athletics, but it did not pass.
New Mexico is located in the United States.
In New Mexico, a birth certificate, original or modified, is required to participate in sex-segregated sports. The New Mexico Activities Association offers no further advice. In 2021, a law was introduced that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ and women’s athletics, but it did not pass.
According to the policy of the New York State Public High School Association, all students should be allowed to participate regardless of their gender identification. If a student wishes to engage in a way that is compatible with their gender identification, they must inform their superintendent. Eligibility is determined by the student’s school, which is verified by the superintendent using evidence supplied by the student. The commissioner of education hears any appeals of a transgender student-eligibility. athlete’s
North Carolina is a state in the United States.
The birth certificate determines whether or not a person is eligible to participate in sex-segregated sports in North Carolina. Transgender kids must submit a gender identification request form to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association via their schools. Documentation from parents, friends, and/or teachers affirming the student’s gender identity; a list of the student’s medications; a list of “interventions that have happened related to the gender identity” of the student; and verification from a healthcare professional are all required for eligibility consideration. For evaluation, the request will be sent to the Gender Identity Committee. During the 2021 parliamentary session, a law was proposed that would ban transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports, however it did not pass.
North Dakota is a state in North America.
The North Dakota High School Athletic Association has a policy that is based on hormone treatment. Students who identify as transgender are able to compete in this category based on their birth sex. A transgender boy who has started hormone treatment is only allowed to engage in boy’s sports and is no longer allowed to participate in girl’s sports. After one year of hormone treatment, a transgender girl is allowed to engage in girls’ sports. In April 2021, Governor Doug Burgum rejected a measure that would have limited the right of transgender athletes to engage in sports.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association has a policy that is based on hormone treatment. A transgender kid who hasn’t started hormone treatment is allowed to play in both girls’ and boys’ sports. Medical proof demonstrating increased muscle mass from testosterone does not surpass that of a cisgender boy and testosterone levels do not exceed that of cisgender boys must be provided to be allowed to participate in boys’ sports after starting hormone treatment. Testosterone levels must also be checked every three to six months. Transgender females must have completed one year of hormone treatment or show medical proof that she has no physical (bone structure, muscular mass, testosterone, hormonal, etc.) or physiological advantages to participate in girls’ sports. Hormone therapies must be closely supervised by a physician, with reports submitted to the OHSAA executive director’s office on a regular basis. An amendment to Ohio’s name, image, and likeness law for college athletes was passed, which would prevent transgender females from participating in both girls’ and women’s sports. The House has approved the NIL bill with that modification.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Athletic Association has a policy that is based on hormone treatment. A transgender boy who has not started hormone treatment may participate in either girls’ or boys’ sports, but after starting hormone therapy, he must engage in boys’ sports. After completing at least one year of hormone treatment, a transgender girl may engage in girls’ sports; otherwise, she must participate in males’ sports. A physician’s note is required for all transgender athletes who use hormones. Several laws have been introduced to ban transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports, but none have been passed.
Once a student/parent/guardian informs the student’s school of their wish to compete in a sports category other than their sex given at birth, the Oregon School Activities Association will respect that decision and will not entertain any appeals from member schools on the subject. There are no specified medical or legal prerequisites.
Individual administrators have the authority to determine when “a student’s gender is questioned or unclear,” according to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. There is no further information provided. In 2021, a measure was introduced that would have banned transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports, but it was not passed.
Rhode Island is a state in the United States.
Students’ eligibility for sex-segregated sports in Rhode Island is determined by individual schools. The Rhode Island Interscholastic League instructs schools that gender identification should be determined using current school records as well as the student’s everyday activities at school and in the community. If a student’s gender identification changes from that on their records, they must inform the school, and the principal will make the decision based on evidence from a parent, guidance counselor, doctor, psychologist, or other medical expert. During the 2021 parliamentary session, a bill was proposed that would have banned transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports, however it did not pass.
South Carolina is a state in the United States.
To participate, South Carolina transgender kids must inform their school, which must then contact the South Carolina High School League for a hardship application to begin the gender identity procedure. The student and the school must submit the following documents: transcripts and school registration; documentation from parents, guardians, friends, teachers, and others attesting to the student’s consistent gender identity; a list of the school’s accommodations for the student; and verification from a healthcare professional. The application and supporting documents are sent to the gender identity eligibility advisory board for review. In 2021, a measure was introduced that would ban transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports, but it was not passed.
South Dakota is located in the United States.
In 2021, Governor Kristi Noem issued two executive orders, one restricting transgender girls’ sports participation in public K-12 schools and the other restricting transgender girls’ athletic participation at the college level. Noem and the legislature fought over the approval of a law that was identical to Noem’s instructions, and which she had promised to sign. Noem has shown interest in addressing the matter via legislation, but nothing has come of it.
Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill in May of 2021 mandating that student-athletes’ “gender for purposes of participation” in sports competitions be decided by their original birth certificate. The legislation applies to public high schools and middle schools, but not to kindergarten through fourth grade.
In sex-segregated sports, the University Interscholastic League utilizes birth certificates to determine eligibility. In the regular session of the Texas legislature in 2021, many proposals aiming at limiting transgender participation were proposed, but none became law. During the current extraordinary legislative session, another measure was introduced.
In Utah, schools evaluate transgender kids’ eligibility based on their academic records and everyday activities. The Utah High School Activities Association, on the other hand, determines eligibility using a hormone-based policy. After one year of hormone treatment, transgender males must engage in boys’ sports; transgender girls may participate in girls’ sports after one year of hormone therapy. The UHSAA also looks at a student’s “treatments and medicines” as well as medical documents. In 2021, a measure was introduced that would ban transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports, but it was not passed.
The Vermont Principals’ Association requires students in Vermont to inform their superintendents of their want to participate in sports that are compatible with their gender identification, and the home school will determine eligibility. Although a medical diagnosis is not needed, the student must provide evidence from parents/guardians, guidance counselors, and/or medical professionals to the superintendent. There are no specified medical or legal criteria.
A multi-level evaluation procedure is used by the Virginia High School League. The student or parent/guardian must contact the student’s school’s principal and submit the following documentation: a personal statement from the student; one or two letters of support from parents, friends, or teachers; a list of medicines; and verification from a physician. The student’s case is sent to the district committee by the principal. The district committee summaries its findings and refers them to the VHSL executive director and/or compliance officer for further action. The student has the right to appeal if the decision does not give them eligibility.
Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States. (State)
Each athlete shall participate in programs “compatible with their gender identification or the gender most frequently expressed,” according to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association guideline. There are no prerequisites in terms of health or law. A student may appeal if there is a doubt regarding his or her eligibility. In 2021, a law was introduced that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ and women’s athletics, but it did not pass.
When it comes to sex-segregated sports, each school in Washington, D.C. decides the appropriate placement of kids, but the District of Columbia State Athletic Association makes it plain that schools must enable children to participate in a way that is consistent with their gender identification. Should a school reject a transgender student’s eligibility, the organization offers both an appeals and mediation procedure. There are no specified medical or legal criteria.
West Virginia is a state in the US.
Gov. Jim Justice signed HB 3293 into law on April 28, prohibiting student-athletes born male from participating in females’ sports in public elementary, middle, high school, or college. It covers intramural and club sports.
Transgender student-athletes’ eligibility is determined by Wisconsin schools. Students must inform their school in writing, then provide medical evidence, a personal statement, confirmation of the student’s gender identification from a healthcare practitioner, and further written testimony from the student’s parents, friends, and/or instructors. A transgender boy must compete in the boys’ category if he has started hormone therapy, but can compete in the girls’ category “if desired” if he hasn’t; a transgender girl may compete in the girls’ category after completing one year of hormone therapy, but can compete in the boys’ category if she hasn’t. These rules remain even if a student has made a social shift. There is a procedure for filing an appeal. In 2021, many bills aiming at limiting transgender athletes’ participation were proposed, but none of them became law.
Although schools decide athlete eligibility, the Wyoming High School Activities Association recommends that schools consider all students for participation regardless of gender identification. Schools may take into account gender identification based on student records, medical evidence, and the “effects of the permission on the person and others who would be impacted by the change.” Only if a school seeks a review of its decision or if a school rejects a student’s eligibility will the WHSHAA get involved.
This year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that transgender men and women would be allowed to compete in women’s sports and women’s sports in the state of North Carolina, and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) also passed a resolution, allowing transgender teens to compete in sports for the state in which they live. (The state in this case is North Carolina). Some states and cities have taken steps to increase the accessibility of transgender athletes, while other states and cities have responded by lowering the standards for transgender athletes. In the meantime, the federal government continues to appeal a lower-court ruling that allowed a transgender boy who identifies as a girl to compete in a girls’ chess tournament.. Read more about olympic rules for transgender athletes and let us know what you think.
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