By Peter Ash
Transgender student-athletes in numerous university institutions will be eligible to compete on the team that either corresponds with their sex at birth or gender identity, according to a press release by U SPORTS.
On Wednesday, the national sport governing body announced student-athletes will be eligible, provided that they follow the Canadian Anti-Doping program. The new policy—that includes Ryerson and 55 other U SPORTS-affiliated institutions—was created by the U SPORTS equity committee, after they examined a report that was made in 2016 by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
“We are thrilled by the support of the Board on our leading-edge transgender policy, and we are now looking forward to assisting our member institutions with the roll-out and implementation of that policy,” said U SPORTS Equity Committee and Manager of Varsity Sports Lisen Moore in the press release.
U SPORTS student-athletes also won’t be required to undergo hormone therapy for them to compete in the gender category that is consistent with their gender identity. Their eligibility remains at a maximum of five years, and they’ll only be able to compete on sport teams of one gender during a given academic year.
To compare, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) policy in the United States allows transgender women to compete for the men’s team, but won’t let them play for the women’s team unless they undergo hormone treatment for a full calendar year. Transgender men undergoing a hormonal treatment aren’t allowed to play on the women’s team, unless the team switches their status to mixed.
“Ultimately, the Equity Committee brought forward a well-informed and well-conceived recommendation that was enthusiastically supported by our Board of Directors,” said Chief Operating Officer of U SPORTS David Goldstein. “U SPORTS recognizes the importance of this topic, and the importance of getting this policy right. We are proud of both the process and the outcome, and look forward to implementing this policy as we continue our efforts to realize and enact our vision, mission, and values.”