RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia High School League has not recently changed its transgender policy. Instead, the league is waiting for a decision on Governor Glenn Youngkin’s transgender policy for public schools.
Youngkin’s most recent proposal states that students’ participation in school athletics and activities will be based on sex.
The League currently allows transgender athletes to participate under specific guidelines. However, for the 2013-2014 season, the League unanimously voted to adopt guidelines that state conditions and regulations the athlete must follow to participate. The League has stuck by this policy ever since.
“We are pleased with our policy, with what we have done. It has served us well,” The Virginia High School League’s executive director Billy Huan said. “It has been successful and served our schools and communities well, so that is what we have in place for right now.”
Last year the League had nine transgender athletes participate in high school sports. Since 2014, there have been 28 appeals for transgender athletes to compete in the sport which aligns with their chosen identity. Twenty-five have been granted, and three have been denied.
“We have 133 school divisions, so our goal is to provide opportunities for every kid to play and all of our student-athletes,” Haun said. “We have 27 sports and 13 academic activities, so our goal is to provide opportunities for every kid to play.”
The Virginia High School League is awaiting the end of the public comment period on Oct. 27 to determine if a change to their transgender athlete policy is needed.
“Nobody knows what’s going to come out of that, so we’re like everybody else,” Haun said. “We will have to wait and see what that final policy looks like before we can certainly make any speculation about our current policy.”
The Virginia High School League’s current rules and regulations allow transgender student-athlete participation under the following conditions:
- A student-athlete will compete in the gender of their birth certificate unless they have undergone sex reassignment.
- A student-athlete who has undergone sex reassignment is eligible to compete in the reassigned gender when the sex reassignment was done before puberty
- A student-athlete who has undergone sex reassignment after puberty is eligible to compete in the reassigned gender if they have also had surgical anatomical changes and hormonal therapy. Under this circumstance, If a student-athlete stops taking hormonal treatment, they will be required to participate in the sport consistent with their birth gender.
- A student-athlete seeking to participate as a result of sex reassignment must access the Virginia High School League’s eligibility appeals process.