NESCAC Transgender Student-Athlete Participation Policy

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NCAA Best Practices Booklet | NCAA LGBTQ Inclusion Booklet

The NESCAC strives to guide, govern and support fair and equitable athletic competition and promote student-athlete well-being among its members. All students should have equal opportunity to participate in sports, whether transgender or cisgender. "Transgender" is defined as: "A person whose gender identity is different from their birth-assigned sex." "Cisgender" is defined as: "A person whose gender identity matches their birth-assigned sex, aligning with their body in ways traditionally recognized as normative." The NESCAC maintains the following policies pertaining to the participation of transgender student-athletes.

The language below is based on current NCAA policy related to transgender student-athlete participation and medical exceptions for the use of banned drugs. 

  • A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone, for purposes of NCAA and NESCAC competition may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.
    • NCAA Bylaw 31.2.3 identifies testosterone as a banned substance, and provides for a medical exception review for demonstrated need for use of a banned medication. A trans male who is taking medically prescribed testosterone must request and be approved for a medical exception from the NCAA prior to competing on a men's team.
  • A trans female (MTF) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication, for the purposes of NCAA and NESCAC competition may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment. 

Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender.

  • A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may participate on a men’s or women’s team.
  • A trans female (MTF) transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatments related to gender transition may not compete on a women’s team.

The use of an anabolic agent, anti-estrogen or peptide hormone must be approved by the NCAA before the student-athlete is allowed to participate in competition while taking these medications. The NCAA recognizes that some banned substances are used for legitimate medical purposes. Accordingly, the NCAA allows exception to be made for those student-athletes with a documented medical history demonstrating the need for treatment with a banned substance. Exceptions may be granted for substances included in the following classes of banned drugs: anabolic agents*, stimulants, beta blockers, diuretics, anti-estrogens*, beta-2 agonists and peptide hormone*.

In the event that the student-athlete and the physician (in coordination with sports-medicine staff at the student-athlete's institution) agree that no appropriate alternative medication to the use of the banned substance is available, the decision may be made to use a medication that falls under an NCAA class of banned drugs. However, the use of an *anabolic agent, anti-estrogen or peptide hormone must be approved by the NCAA before the student-athlete is allowed to participate in competition while taking these medications. The institution, through its director of athletics, may request an exception for use of an anabolic agent, anti-estrogen or peptide hormone by submitting to the NCAA medical documentation from the prescribing physician supporting the diagnosis and treatment.