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Q26. Is The NCAA’s Eligibility Rule For Males Who Identify As Transgender Sufficient To Ensure Fairness To And The Safety Of The Biological Females In The Field?

A26. No.  In January of 2022, the NCAA withdrew its 2010 outdated transgender eligibility rule that lacked both rigor and detail. The old rule provided only that males who identify as transgender be on gender-affirming hormones for at least a year, did not specify that they needed to bring their testosterone levels into the female range; did not require them to keep their levels consistently within that range; and the NCAA did not monitor their compliance. The updated NCAA policy calls for transgender participation in each sport to be determined by the policy for the national governing body of that sport, subject to ongoing review and recommendation by the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports. If there is no NGB policy for a sport, that sport’s international federation policy would be followed.  If there is no international federation policy, previously established IOC policy criteria would be followed.

Portions of the new policy were effective starting with the 2022 winter NCAA championships but full implementation does not begin until the 2024-25 academic year. Transgender college athletes competing until then will need to document sport-specific testosterone levels beginning four weeks before their sport’s championship selections. Starting with the 2022-23 academic year, transgender student-athletes need documented levels at the beginning of their season and a second documentation six months after the first. They will also need documented testosterone levels four weeks before championship selections. Effectively, the NCAA phase in process tells biological females to wait three years for fair competition.