The National Collegiate Athletic Association has set new guidelines for transgender student athletes that will clarify which teams transitioning athletes can play for.
The new policy states that a transgender male athlete "who has a medical exception for testosterone hormone therapy may compete on a men's team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women's team without changing the team status to a mixed team," according to a press release from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which worked with the NCAA to develop the new standards. For transgender female athletes, those who have "taken medication to suppress testosterone for a year may compete on a women's team. Under the new policy, transgender student athletes who are not undergoing hormone therapy remain eligible to play on teams based on the gender of their birth sex and may socially transition by dressing and using the appropriate pronouns that match their gender identity."
Beginning in 2009, NCLR and It Takes a Team! An Initiative of the Women's Sports Foundation, convened a think tank to look into setting formal standards for transgender college athletes. The National Center for Lesbian Rights' Sports Project and the Griffin Educational Consulting group then worked on turning the ideas and concerns developed at the think tank into new policy. The new standards take effect immediately.
"We applaud the NCAA for leading the way on this issue and developing a policy based on science, fairness, and the principles of inclusion and equality, NCLR legal director Shannon Minter said in a statement.