Nev. may allow transgender students to select teams based on gender identity

RENO, Nev. — The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA), the state’s governing body of high school athletics and activities, is considering allowing transgender students the right to choose whether to participate on either male or female school teams based on their gender identity.

school-sports“Issues with respect to high school athletics has become somewhat of a larger and open issue on a national basis,” said NIAA legal counsel Paul Anderson.

Transgender students are a small but growing group across the nation, and Nevada plans to stay ahead of the curve, he said.

“We don’t have the policy out there and those types of students may not know that they have the ability to come to us to seek eligibility,” Anderson told KOLO-TV.

“From choosing the sport they want to play to the locker room they want to use, the policy will give transgender students the right to choose. At least we have something to reference at this point. It may not be officially adopted but we have a working document that we can use should this situation arise at this point,” he said

High school athletics in the U.S. are principally gender-exclusive, and usually do not make provisions for transgender youth. Currenty, six states — including Washington and California — have adopted policies to allow transgender students to compete on teams of their choosing.

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If Nevada follows suit, students would have to provide medical documentation and a statement from both the student and the parents on their gender identity.

“The policy will be written in a way that will weed through those situations and the only cases that might be considered under the policy would be true situations of transgender student athletes,” said Anderson.

A revised draft of the policy with specifications will presented to the board in January to be finalized.

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