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Sport-by-Sport Listing of US & International Policies Governing Who Can Compete in the Female Category — with Grades

The Women’s Sports Policy Working Group has established a rating system for American national governing bodies, international federations, and other organizations in charge of deciding who qualifies for the female category. The Women’s Rights Network publishes a similar list of UK organizations.

GOLD: Fair for women and girls at all levels. No boys or men who identify as trans, nonbinary, or any related term are eligible for the female competition category regardless of age, competitive level, gender identity, hormones, surgery. These organizations rate the GOLD rating so far:

SILVER: No boys or men are eligible for the female competition category if they have gone through male puberty. This level is fair for all females except 1) girls who will be asked to compete against boys who identify as trans under about age 12; and 2) women who will be asked to compete against men who identify as trans and took medications to prevent their bodies from going through male puberty. Even before puberty, girls should not have to compete against boys because of the pre-puberty male advantage. And women should not have to compete against men who have adjusted their hormone levels. Such adjustments do not turn men into women. In addition, any policies, particularly those applicable to children, that require the use of hormones or surgery to participate in a sport are unacceptable. Still, organizations such as Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), World Aquatics (formerly FINA) and World Athletics, which protect almost all women from having to compete against men by excluding men who have gone through male puberty, should be commended.

SUBSTANTIALLY FLAWED: Fair for only some females in certain conditions. Males qualify to compete against females if they lower their testosterone or remove their genitals; if they only compete recreationally, or some combination of these and other criteria. These organizations are starting to do the right thing — protecting some female athletes — but all female athletes deserve to compete in all-female environments.

UNFAIR: Any male can enter the female competition category by declaring himself to be a girl or woman (“self-ID”); or any male can enter if he lowers his testosterone levels to a certain extent.

UNCLEAR: No policies can be found.

Check out your sport below.
If you don’t like what you see, contact the organization.

Notes:
  • “T<2.5 nmol/L for ____ months” refers to testosterone levels and how long those levels must be maintained before a male competes in the female category. This used to be a well known fact, but now we must explain: Men who lower their testosterone (or remove their genitals) do not become women. They retain male height, heart and lung size, bone density, inability to menstruate or give birth, and more.
  • DSDs = people with differences in sexual development (also known as intersex conditions)
  • World Athletics
    Policy summary: Boys who identify as trans allowed to compete against girls but males not allowed if experienced male puberty. DSDs: T<2.5 nmol/L for 24 months
    Policy basis and year updated: Male puberty (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: SILVER
  • USA Track & Field
    Policy summary: Follows the outdated IOC policy from 2015: Males must keep T<5 nmol/L for 12 months prior to competition.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2005)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • USA Basketball
    No policies found.
    WSPWG Rating: UNCLEAR
  • WNBA
    USA Basketball
    No policies found.
    WSPWG Rating: UNCLEAR
  • World Boxing Council
    Policy summary: Only females can compete with females due to safety concerns. Plans to create trans category.
    Policy basis and year updated: Must be female from birth (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: GOLD
  • USA Boxing
    Policy summary: Only females can compete with females until age 18. Over 18, males who have “had surgery” and T<2.5 nmol/L for 4 years can compete against women. As Riley Gaines put it: USA Boxing “permits men to literally beat women up, so long as the men have been sufficiently drugged.”
    Policy basis and year updated: Male puberty, testosterone (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR. Despite their protection of girls under 18, the fact that they allow any men to punch women resulted in this UNFAIR rating. Males’ punching strength is about 162% greater than females.’
  • International Chess Federation
    Policy summary: Only females can compete with females. Will strip titles from men who won in women’s category. Creating new open category.
    Policy basis and year updated: Must be female from birth (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: GOLD
  • International Cricket Council (as reported by CNN, other outlets)
    Policy summary: Boys who identify as trans allowed to compete against girls but males not allowed if experienced male puberty “regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment.” Priority is to “protect the integrity” of international women’s cricket.
    Policy basis and year updated: Male puberty (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: SILVER
  • USA Curling
    Policy summary: Any male can enter the female category by declaring himself to be a girl or woman.
    Policy basis and year updated: Self-ID (2021)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)
    Policy summary: Males not allowed unless transitioned before age 12 years
    Policy basis and year updated: Male puberty (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: SILVER
  • USA Cycling
    Policy summary: Follows UCI policy at the elite level; self-ID for non-elite.
    Policy basis and year updated: Male puberty and self-ID (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: SUBSTANTIALLY FLAWED
  • Professional Disc Golf Association
    Policy summary: Males not allowed unless transitioned before age 12 or if T<2.0 nmol/L for 24 months
    Policy basis and year updated: Male puberty and testosterone (2024)
    WSPWG Rating: SUBSTANTIALLY FLAWED
  • USA Fencing
    Policy summary: Any male can enter the female category by declaring himself to be a girl or woman.
    Policy basis and year updated: Self-ID (2022)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • LPGA
    Policy summary: Gender reassignment surgery & certain hormone levels required. Removed females-at-birth only requirement from 2010.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • NXXT Women’s Tour
    Policy summary: NXXT earned a WSPWG GOLD rating with this unequivocal announcement: “Competitors must be a biological female at birth to participate. This decision underscores the organization’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of women’s professional golf and ensuring fair competition.”
    Policy basis and year updated: Must be female from birth. (2024)
    WSPWG Rating: GOLD
  • International Gymnastics Federation
    No policies found.
    WSPWG Rating: UNCLEAR
  • USA Gymnastics
    Policy summary: Self-ID except at the international level, where it defers to the International Gymnastics Federation
    Policy basis and year updated: Self-ID (2021)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • IOC (International Olympic Committee)
    Policy summary: Defers to each sport federation’s rules.
    Policy basis and year updated: “No presumption” that males who are trans-identified have an “advantage” over women. (2021)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)
    Policy summary: The first college sports organization to restrict the female category to females, the NAIA, which oversees 83,000 athletes, ruled in April 2024 that any athlete may participate NAIA’s male sports, but only athletes recognized as female at birth may compete in women’s sports. Students who take hormones may participate in workouts, practices, and team activities, but not in intercollegiate competitions.
    Policy basis and year updated: Must be female from birth. (2024)
    WSPWG Rating: GOLD
  • NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association Summary of Policy
    NCAA’s Sport-by-Sport Listing
    Policy summary: Beginning in the 2024-2025 season: Based on each sport’s national or international governing body. Until then: Must lower testosterone for one year.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone. (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee
    Policy summary: Before puberty: Seems to imply males can identify as female without restriction: “Fairness should prioritize inclusion and participation.” After puberty: Similar to IOC; seems to favor trans athletes over women and defer to national governing bodies. “Fairness demands a balanced approach aimed at inclusion and also at field of play safety and existing competitive opportunity. This sport-by-sport work should be based on extending the existing and important concept of category qualifiers to better accommodate transgender athlete participation.”
    Policy basis: “Science-based decisions.”
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • International Powerlifting Federation
    Policy summary: T<2.5 nmol/L throughout the eligibility period. Must have same-gender passport. No changing back to male category for four years.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone. (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • USA Powerlifting
    Policy summary: Only females can compete with females.
    Policy basis and year updated: Must be female from birth (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: GOLD
  • World Rowing
    Policy summary: T<5 nmol/L for 12 months prior to competition
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • USA Rowing
    Policy summary: Self-ID in junior events. T<5 nmol/L for 12 months prior to competition for college and elite rowers.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2022)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • World Sailing Council
    Policy summary: Males not allowed unless transitioned before age 12, and in that case, must maintain testosterone levels of 2.5 nmol/liter continuously for 12 months before competition.
    Policy summary for females: Females may compete in the men’s division upon declaring themselves to be men – so long as they never take any testosterone or related performance-enhancing drugs.
    Policy basis and year updated: Male puberty and testosterone (2024)
    WSPWG Rating: SILVER
  • World Skate
    Policy summary: T<5 nmol/L. No changing back to male category for four years.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • US Figure Skating
    Policy summary: T<10 nmol/L for at least a year. No changing back to male category for four years. No restrictions if transitioned before age 12.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • International Skating Union
    Policy summary: T<5 nmol/L for at least a year. No changing back to male category for four years.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • FIFA (World Football Association)
    Policy summary: Policy from 2021 — only females can compete with females — under review.
    Policy basis and year updated: Must be female from birth (2021)
    WSPWG Rating: UNCLEAR
  • National Women’s Soccer League
    Policy summary: T<10 nmol/L for at least a year. No changing back to male category for four years.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2021)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • World Aquatics (formerly FINA)
    Policy summary: Males not allowed unless transitioned before age 12
    Policy basis and year updated: Male puberty and testosterone (2022)
    WSPWG Rating: SILVER
  • USA Swimming
    Policy summary: Males can self-ID into the female category for all except the elite level. For elite: T<5 nmol/L for at least a year.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone and self-ID (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • United States Masters Swimming
    Policy summary: Males must have T<5 nmol/L for at least a year. Men who identify as women but do not meet the testosterone standard can compete with women but their results will not be recorded.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2022)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • International Tennis Federation
    Policy summary: Under review.
    No policies found.
    WSPWG Rating: UNCLEAR
  • USTA (United States Tennis Association)
    Policy summary: Self-ID and “hormone therapy to minimize gender-related advantages”
    Policy basis and year updated: Male puberty (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • See Athletics above
  • World Triathlon
    Policy summary: Generally, T<5 nmol/L for 24 months, though different events have different rules. No changing back to male category for four years.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2022)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • USA Triathlon
    Policy summary: Self-ID except for elite level, where policy follows World Triathlon. New nonbinary category at 2022 Age Group National Championships.
    Policy basis and year updated: Self-ID (2019)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • Ironman
    Policy summary: T<5 nmol/L for 24 months, though different events have different rules. No competing in male category for four years prior to competition in female category.
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2022)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • USA Volleyball
    Policy summary: Testosterone “must not exceed upper limit of normal female range for age group.”
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (undated)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR
  • USA Weightlifting
    Policy summary: “Hormone therapy for a sufficient amount of time (two-year minimum) to minimize gender-related advantages”
    Policy basis and year updated: Testosterone (2023)
    WSPWG Rating: UNFAIR