NCAA updates transgender policy, each sport to set eligibility rules

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on Wednesday updated its policies on transgender athletes, calling for each sport’s governing body to make its own determinations for participation.

In a press release, the athletic association said that this updated policy, which is effective immediately, “preserves opportunity for transgender student-athletes while balancing fairness.” 

The requirement coincides with recent policy changes from the U.S. and International Olympic Committees.

If there is no government policy for the sport, then the sport’s international federation policy would be followed. If that is also absent, then the previous Olympic International Committee (OIC) requirements will be followed.

“We are steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports,” John DeGioia, chairman of the board and Georgetown president, said in the press release. “It is important that NCAA member schools, conferences and college athletes compete in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful environment and can move forward with a clear understanding of the new policy.”

The previous policy, adopted in 2010, was based on hormone therapy requirements and was consistent across all sports, according to ESPN. However, as of 2020, 10 states have established laws restricting transgender athletes from participating in school sports. 

The policy will be used in the 2020 winter championships. Transgender athletes wishing to participate will be required to provide their testosterone levels four weeks before the participant selection. 

“Approximately 80% of U.S. Olympians are either current or former college athletes,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “This policy alignment provides consistency and further strengthens the relationship between college sports and the U.S. Olympics.”

Tags NCAA Olympics transgender athletes Winter Olympics

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