A working group of the National Collegiate Athletic Association has proposed an interpretation of existing policies to create paths for transgender athletes to compete on teams. This is the first time that the NCAA, in any capacity, has offered advice on this issue.
The interpretation endorsed by the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports is nearly identical to a set of recommendations issued in a report earlier this year by the National Center on Lesbian Rights and the Women’s Sports Foundation. The NCAA’s national office staff are “reviewing the interpretation to determine if it sufficiently addresses the issue or if there is a need for further legislation.” If any legislation is needed, then it would be considered by the NCAA’s membership during its upcoming 2011-12 legislative cycle.
Under the proposed interpretation, a male athlete transitioning to female would be permitted to play on a women’s team if “that athlete has undergone testosterone suppression treatment for at least one year.” The member institution would have to provide the NCAA with “written documentation of testosterone suppression for the year of treatment” and “documentation of ongoing monitoring” to be eligible to play on a women’s team.