NCAA Updates Transgender Athlete Participation Guidelines

The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Wednesday that it has updated its transgender participation policy to reflect the practices of the U.S. and International Olympic Committees.

Under the new policy, transgender participation in a particular sport will be determined by that sport’s national governing body. If no such governing body exists, participation will be determined by the sport’s international federation rules, while if an international federation has no transgender policy, the American branch of a particular sport will follow the IOC policy.

“Transgender student-athletes will need to document sport-specific testosterone levels beginning four weeks before their sport’s championship selections,” the NCAA said in a press release. “Starting with the 2022-23 academic year, transgender student-athletes will need documented levels at the beginning of their season and a second documentation six months after the first. They will also need documented testosterone levels four weeks before championship selections.”

The changes to the policy came after a transgender swimmer, who was deemed eligible to compete as a woman after a male-to-female transition, broke records during competition for the University of Pennsylvania female swim team. The NCAA’s previous policy was to allow male swimmers to compete as female following one year of testosterone suppression.

“We are steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports,” NCAA board chair and Georgetown University president John DeGioia said in a statement. “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.”

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