UPDATE – NCAA upholds rule allowing trans women to compete in women’s athletics

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News


Last week, the NCAA announced that it will not change its rules regarding trans female athletes, biological males who identify as female, competing in women’s competitions.

This announcement has vital implications in the case of UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, whose story FISM News has covered closely over the past several months. Thomas, a biological male, has been dominating the women’s swimming heat in the NCAA. This determination will allow Thomas to compete in the upcoming NCAA swimming championships in March.

The last update involving the Thomas saga came several weeks ago, when 16 of Thomas’ teammates at Penn wrote a letter to the NCAA asking the league to prevent Thomas from participating in the upcoming championships.

Evidently, the league responded, but with an answer that is contrary to the wishes of these 16 female players and many fans nationwide who believe allowing trans women to compete in women’s sports sacrifices the integrity of female athletics.

The Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports to the NCAA Board of Governors made this decision. CSMAS said in a statement,

The subcommittee decided implementing additional changes at this time could have unfair and potentially detrimental impacts on schools and student-athletes intending to compete in 2022 NCAA women’s swimming championships.

The new ruling does not negate the necessity for trans female athletes to meet testosterone levels required by the NCAA, which further complicates an already murky rule.

Barring any setbacks or injuries, Thomas is likely to compete in the NCAA championships in March as a heavy favorite.