NCAA Ironing Out Trans Athlete Rules

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com November 10 2010 6:30 PM ET

The governing body of college sports has clarified its stance on allowing student athletes to undergo medical gender transition procedures while remaining eligible to play.

According to Outsports, the current NCAA rules state that a female player who wants to be identified as male but has not undergone hormonal treatment can compete on a woman's team, and the team itself will remain a woman's team. However, male players who identify as female may compete on women's squads, but the team then becomes a mixed team. NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson told Outsports that each outcome is based on "competitive equity reasons."

The NCAA does not have any other more specific policies on transgender eligibility, but the national athletics clearinghouse is working to develop one.

The decision comes after George Washington University's Kye Allums came out as the first openly transgender college hoops player. Allums said that while he identifies as male, he will avoid hormone treatment or surgeries to remain on the women's team. Still, a GWU spokeswoman told Allums that he could undergo gender-reassignment surgery while maintaining his NCAA eligibility.