IHSA director discusses changes to transgender participation rules

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 4:34 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - The transgender participation rules have been set for Illinois high schools. The executive director of the Illinois High School Association calls them “slight changes” to the policy.

Earlier this week, 25News reported that IHSA will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to let transgender athletes compete as they identify, as opposed to their biological sex.

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson says the policy has been in place for more than a decade, but in June, the board approved a slight change. Following that, they made even more modifications with legal counsel and the Attorney General’s office.

Families and students have to work with their local school administration and provide documentation to support their gender identity and transition. Those documents will then be reviewed for a decision on whether to allow the student to compete when their gender is the opposite of their birth assignment.

The new changes add additional information about the types of documentation that can be submitted, including letters from psychologists and psychiatrists.

“We would request any medical documentation. Could be working with a physician. It could be working with counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists. Letters or narratives from those individuals regarding the length of time the student has been working with a doctor,” said Anderson.

Anderson says their goal is to be inclusive while at the same time, protecting the integrity of high school sports.