Georgia State Sports Board: Student Athletes Must Participate In Sports Based On Birth Certificate Sex

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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The governing body for high school sports in Georgia voted to uphold bylaws mandating that student-athletes compete in sports based on the sex of their birth certificate, according to a report from local news.

The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) voted unanimously Wednesday that all athletes who wish to play sports must participate based on their biological sex. The governing board represents 463 high schools statewide.

The 62-0 vote restores a former policy that pre-dated 2016, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2016, the GHSA allowed individual member schools to set their own policy on how to deal with transgender athletes.

GHSA Executive Director Robin Hines told WSBTV that the unanimous vote aimed to create “a level playing field” for athletes. Hines said that transgender athletes haven’t been an issue in Georgia high schools, though the board opted to vote “out of a concern of competitive imbalance, understanding there [are] biological differences.”

Hines said that the vote is “certainly appealable.”

The unanimous vote comes amid a nationwide debate over transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male who competes against — and often beats — biologically female swimmers. (RELATED: Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas Beats Out Female Competitors By 1.75 Seconds In NCAA Championships)

In response, Republican lawmakers called on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to bar biological men from competing in women’s sports. Student athletes at the University of Pennsylvania, who swim with Thomas, also spoke out against transgender women competing against biological women.