Home > The Scene

U Sports approves transgender student-athlete policy

Transgender student-athletes may now compete in the category corresponding to either their birth gender or their identified gender

U Sports Track and Field Championships
2018 U Sports Track Championships
Photo: Guelph Gryphons/Instagram

U Sports has brought in a new policy aimed at creating a more inclusive environment for transgender student-athletes. It takes effect at U Sports‘ 56 member institutions immediately.

The policy allows student-athletes to compete on the team corresponding to either their gender at birth or their gender identity, provided they comply with the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. They are still eligible to participate in U Sports for five years, and they may only compete on sport teams of one gender during any single academic year. 

RELATED: Boston and transgender runners: inclusivity rules

In keeping with similar policies in other organizations, hormone therapy is not a requirement for competing as an athlete’s identified gender.

The policy, developed by U Sports’ equity committee in consultation with the member institutions, has been in the works for two years, and relied on guidance from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports’ (CCES) report entitled “Creating Inclusive Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport” and from the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).

U SPORTS is the national brand for university sports in Canada, involving more than 14,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities across 12 different sports.