Blog

News

NAIA Bans Transgender Women from Women’s Sports: Only Cis Women Can Compete

NAIA Bans Transgender Women from Women’s Sports: Only Cis Women Can Compete NAIA Bans Transgender Women from Women’s Sports: Only Cis Women Can Compete

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) voted Monday morning that athletes are only allowed to compete in women’s sports if they were assigned female at birth. 

The NAIA's Council of Presidents voted 25-0 in favor of enacting this new policy. 

The NAIA is the governing body for small college athletics. They sponsor 28 sports at over 250 different schools

Hump Day Poll

Who Is Going to Win the Men’s College World Series?
Who Is Going to Win the Men’s College World Series?

According to CBS Sports, NAIA president Jim Carr said, “For us, we believed our first responsibility was to create fairness and competition in the NAIA. ... We also think it aligns with the reasons Title IX was created. You're allowed to have separate but equal opportunities for women to compete.”

Carr also made it clear that anyone can compete in men’s sports. 

What does this mean for NCAA athletes?

The NCAA has a different policy for transgender athletes. Starting on August 1st of this year, transgender athletes need to provide documentation at least twice a year “which may include testosterone levels, mitigation timelines and other aspects of sport-governing body policies.” Before August 1st, athletes have to provide documented testosterone levels before the start of a regular season and before an NCAA championship event. 

A few college coaches have shared their opinions on the topic:

University of South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley said in a press conference recently,

“I’m on the opinion of if you’re a woman you should play. If you consider yourself a woman and you want to play sports, or vice versa, you should be able to play. That’s my opinion.”

Former Oberlin College women’s lacrosse Kim Russell coach faced controversy when she told The Spectator,

“A natural-born male should not be competing with biological females. "There are too many biological and physical advantages for biological males."

Transgender athletes competing in college sports has been a big discussion in the sports world. There is so much conversation on this topic despite the fact that as of 2023, there have only been 23 transgender athletes who have competed in college sports, according to the American Civil Liberties of Ohio. 

Here is the full policy from the NAIA:

  1. Participation by students in sports designated as male by the NAIA: All eligible NAIA student-athletes may participate in NAIA-sponsored male sports.
  2. Participation by students in sports designated as female by the NAIA: Only NAIA student-athletes whose biological sex* is female may participate in NAIA-sponsored female sports. They may participate under the following conditions:
    • A student who has not begun any masculinizing hormone therapy may participate without limitation.
    • A student who has begun masculinizing hormone therapy may participate in:
      • All activities that are internal to the institution (does not include external competition), including workouts, practices, and team activities. Such participation is at the discretion of the NAIA member institution where the student is enrolled; and
      • b. External competition that is not a countable contest as defined by the NAIA (per NAC Policy Article XXV, Section A, Item 12). Such participation is at the discretion of the NAIA member institution where the student is enrolled.

The policy will go into effect on August 1st, 2024. Read the entire policy document here

* Originally published on April 8, 2024, by Bella Nevin

7 Facts About Junior College Athletics
Coach Interview: Vermont Athletic Director Mike Jabour
Related Posts
NAIA Bans Transgender Women from Women’s Sports: Only Cis Women Can Compete
Is It Draft-y in Here?
NBA Draft Preview
NAIA Bans Transgender Women from Women’s Sports: Only Cis Women Can Compete
soccer
Major Arena Soccer League Rising Star Talks How to Get off the Bench
NAIA Bans Transgender Women from Women’s Sports: Only Cis Women Can Compete
Which Athletic Association Should You Target?
NCAA vs NAIA
NAIA Bans Transgender Women from Women’s Sports: Only Cis Women Can Compete
Picking a School
Bella Alfreda on How She Knew Holy Cross was the Perfect School
NAIA Bans Transgender Women from Women’s Sports: Only Cis Women Can Compete
College Athlete Superstars
5 Athletes Who Proved It’s Never Too Late to Play College Sports