Photo Credit: NAIA
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), governing US small-college, on Monday morning supported by a 20 to 0 vote a resolution stating transgendered women will be permitted to compete in women’s events only if they were assigned the female gender at birth.

The NAIA, whose headquarters is in Kansas City, Missouri, sponsors 28 national championships and awards $1.3 billion in athletic scholarship financial aid to student-athletes each year.


The NAIA explained its ruling, saying there should be “fair and safe competition for all student-athletes” and that “Title IX ensures there are separate and equal opportunities for female athletes.”

Title IX of the 1972 Higher Education Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965, prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government. The amendments were signed by President Richard Nixon.

NAIA added: “Participation by students in sports designated as female by the NAIA: Only NAIA student-athletes whose biological sex is female may participate in NAIA-sponsored female sports.”

As to the NCAA, the governing body of athletic competitions in the bigger colleges and universities, in 2022, the NCAA declared that the transgender policies for each sport would be determined by their respective national governing bodies. This decision mirrors the stance of the International Olympic Committee, as stated by the NCAA, which is presently in the second phase of a three-phase transgender participation policy.

“College sports are the premier stage for women’s sports in America, and the NCAA will continue to promote Title IX, make unprecedented investments in women’s sports, and ensure fair competition for all student-athletes in all NCAA championships,” the NCAA said in a statement which may have meant they would follow NAIA’s example.

St. Ambrose University President Amy Novak, who also chairs NAIA’s Council of Presidents, declared: “With this policy, the NAIA has made its best effort to allow for the inclusion of transgender athletes in any way which does not impact the competitive fairness of women’s sports. Our priority is to protect the integrity of women’s athletics and allow them equal opportunity to succeed.”


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