State athletics league mulls transgender inclusion in sports


The Minnesota State High School League is set to vote next week on whether to allow transgender high schools students to participate in athletics based on their gender identity.

The Minnesota State High School League is “a voluntary, nonprofit association of public and private schools with a history of service to Minnesota’s high school youth since 1916.” The MSHSL oversees much of the athletics in the state.

According to the policy, transgender high school students can play on the team of their choice (male or female) but have to have a physician’s documentation and in some cases must have begun hormone therapy to “preserve competitive equity.” The MSHSL policy also provides transgender students avenues for corrective action if a school district does not comply.

The new policy will be discussed in a workshop on Oct. 1 and the full MSHSL is expected to vote on the policy on Oct. 2.

Associations in Illinois, California, Maine, Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut have had similar policies for several years. Even associations in states that are considered conservative have adopted such policies including Nebraska in 2012, and North Carolina and Virginia in 2014. Minnesota’s neighbors to the south and west have also approved of the policies. Iowa approved similar policies earlier this spring. The South Dakota High School Activities Association approved such recommendations in June.

The NCAA has also adopted trans-inclusive policies.

Here is a draft of the proposed policy:

Download (PDF, 538KB)

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