Would transgender athletes be eligible to participate in high school sports? was a question posed to the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association by a transgender student in northern Nevada. The association that governs high school sports in the state didn’t have an answer. But they didn’t answer the traditional question, we don’t know” either. Instead the governing board started to research what other state high school associations had done.
Nevada plans to allow transgender athletes to petition the association for permission to compete as the gender the student identifies as. This will be done through the parents making a request for the transgender athlete, a statement about the gender the student identifies as, a statement from the student, statements from a physicians or psychologist the transgender student is working with. Teachers, friends and other students can also make statements concerning the athletes gender identification. A three person panel, which will include a medical professional, will make the final determination. The policy is still under consideration by the nine member governing board.
The major concern the NIAA has is that allowing transgender athletes to complete on the team they sexually identify with is not abused. The governing board wants to make sure people can not get around the system that is put in place. The student who originally made the inquiry has moved out of state and is not expected to return. They has wanted to complete on the girls volleyball team.
Once the policy is in place, Nevada with join 15-20 other states that have similar policies allowing for transgender students to compete as the sex they identify as. Washington state was the first to adopt a policy about transgender athletes. Nevada is planning to be in the forefront and should have final approval on a policy by its January 2014 meeting.