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Proposed Transgender Athlete Bill Would Supersede Existing Fairness Policies

May 12, 2021

Girls play a soccer match in Northeast Ohio, part of which is regulated by the Ohio High School Athletic Association. The OHSAA has policies that balance inclusion of transgender athletes with fair competition.
Credit Jeff St. Clair

Lawmakers have introduced bills in the Ohio House and Senate that would ban transgender athletes from competing in high school or collegiate sports.  Backers of the Save Women’s Sports Act say the law is needed to prevent unfair advantages for trans athletes.  But those safeguards are already in place in Ohio.   For Ohio Public Radio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports.

The proposed legislation would require that athletes only be allowed on teams that match their sex at birth.

Transgender athletes would effectively be banned in Ohio.

Ohio High School Athletic Association spokesman Tim Stried says that goes against the regulating agency’s mission…

“All student athletes should have the opportunity to participate in Jr. High and high school sports and that does include transgender student athletes.”

He says OHSAA currently screens transgender girls to make sure they don’t present an unfair advantage.

“The policy is set-up to include medical science and a doctor and there’s certainly steps that need to be taken to get approval…”

Transgender girls must undergo a year of hormone therapy or be screened by an eligibility committee before taking part in sports.

Stried says that each year only around 1 in five transgender girls are approved to compete in girls sports in Ohio.