NCAA Says No to USA Swimming Guidelines For Transgender Participation; Door Open For Lia Thomas

Lia Thomas - NCAA

NCAA Won’t Adopt USA Swimming Guidelines For Transgender Participation; Door Open For Lia Thomas

The NCAA announced on Thursday that there will be no changes to its previously approved testosterone policy for transgender women to compete at the 2022 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, giving Penn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas the possibility of competing.

The previously approved NCAA testosterone threshold is 10 nmol/L, and it is unknown whether Thomas is eligible based on that number. If she is, she will be able to compete at the NCAA Championships. The CSMAS (the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports) reviewed the policy, along with the new USA Swimming policy  (5 nmol/L) before making the decision.

“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 NCAA wrote in a press release.

This decision could also keep the NCAA from dealing with backlash, including litigation, based on rules changing during the middle of an academic school year.

At its Jan. 19 meeting, the NCAA Board of Governors approved updates to the NCAA transgender student-athlete participation policy, which aligns participation with the Olympic movement. The Phase One eligibility requirements and related documentation submission timelines (PDF) communicated from that decision, including for the 2022 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships and other winter championship events, will remain in effect.

USA Swimming’s policy was released after the start of the four-week window in which schools could submit required eligibility documentation (e.g., testosterone lab results).

According to USA Swimming’s new rule, no transgender athlete would be allowed to compete in the women’s category prior to showing that her concentration of testosterone in serum has been less than 5 nmol/L for a continuous period of 36 months. Further, transgender athletes hoping to compete in women’s events would also have to provide “evidence that the prior physical development of the athlete as a male, as mitigated by any medical intervention, does not give the athlete a competitive advantage over the athlete’s cisgender female competitors.” Final determination of eligibility would be made by a panel.

The NCAA decided not to adopt that policy for this school year, but will continue discussions in the future based on the USA Swimming policy.

According to the NCAA release, USA Swimming’s new policy will be part of the subcommittee’s future analysis when recommending additional updates to eligibility requirements for Phase Two (2022-23 academic year) and Phase Three (2023-24 academic year).

Visit ncaa.org/transgender for more on the NCAA’s transgender student-athlete participation policy, including an updated list (PDF) of testosterone thresholds that clarifies divisional differences in submission deadlines.

33 Comments
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HS & College Swimmer
7 months ago

Yes, because the only difference between men and women is their testosterone level!

(That was sarcasm BTW)

The NCAA claims that lowering the testosterone requirement would have “…unfair and potentially detrimental impacts on schools and student-athletes”

So yet again, the NCAA proves that the only athletes it cares about are men.

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Anonymous
7 months ago

Boys are boys, and girls are girls and never the Twain shall meet!!!!!

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Leander
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

As long as it’s consensual and not adulterous, boys and girls should definitely meet.

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Anonymous
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I agree 100 percent!!!!! Boys are Boys, and Girls are Girls and never the Twain shall meet!!
Start a third category if you must, for Trans Gender Athletes

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Anonymous
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I agree 100 percent!!! Boys are Boys, and Girls are Girls!!! And never the Twain shall meet!!! Start a third category!!! For Transgender Athletes !!!!

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Ray
7 months ago

God made men to be men, women to be women. It’s ridiculous and anti-God to even consider accepting a transgender. A male
is a male and that’s it. If a male likes sex with another male, fine but it’s totally unfair to allow a man to compete in WOMEN’S sports because he thinks he should have been born a female. That’s Gods decision, not his.

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Anonymous
7 months ago
Reply to  Ray

Ray… place join the 21st century and accept the transgender is REAL!!! The last time I checked God loves us all and it’s not our place to judge others.

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Robert Heyward
7 months ago

This never should have been allowed in the first place and that’s the damn problem. I basically don’t give a damn anymore.

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Swimmer
7 months ago

Good.

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SETH
7 months ago
Reply to  Swimmer

You took the word right out of my mouth: good!

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Anonymous
7 months ago
Reply to  Swimmer

If I was a current swimming athlete , I would organize a boycott and make it that no other swimmer participates in the races Thomas is in. It’s not a fair playing field.

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Amy
7 months ago
Reply to  Swimmer

I swam with a lot of women. I don’t recall one trying to cheat, so if “Swimmer” is actually a swimmer, I’m guessing he’s a male trying to beat the system by “identifying” as a “woman.”

And Seth, I’m guessing you’ve never dipped a toe into a pool. Real swimmers don’t cheat.

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William
7 months ago

I can see Ms. Thomas posting record times all over the place and if the NCAA isn’t brave enough to post a gigantic asterisk next to each one of those times with an explanation as to how they were achieved then that institution will have done one of the most horrible acts against legitimate female athletes ever.

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Mother of a Girl
7 months ago

At the allowable 10 nmol/L of testosterone in a male body, it’s 5-10 times higher than natural testosterone in a female. With just the allowable testosterone level for a trans woman, it’s already unfair. That’s not even looking at the post-puberty growth and current physiological advantages (height, sizes of arms/legs/hands/feet, larger lungs & heart, larger shoulders). I can’t believe the amount of coolaid NCAA has drank to not see this unfairness and inequitable playing field!!

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Hans Witolla
7 months ago

There does need to be a third category for trans-gender athletes, specifically those transitioning from male to female. Science will tell you that.
Imagine, if you will, if Bruce Jenner ( now Caitlyn ) had transitioned 40 years ago? It is probably likely that the Russians and Chinese already have plenty of transgender athletes in the stable ready to go and dominate world swimming.

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SwimDad
7 months ago

Headline is a bit misleading – basically, they are pushing the USAS rule adoption till next year – as the article states, changing the rules mid season would invite quite a bit of litigation

A third division doesn’t make sense because it impacts such a small number of athletes and would be further stigmatizing.

My 2 cents:
Anyone can swim in the Men’s division (there have already been F->M trans swimmers, but there’s no unfair advantage in that direction).

Women’s division is for biological women (F-M trans can stay in women’s, but if they have already begun hormone treatment, they need to switch divisions)

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Anonymous
7 months ago

You get whooped as a boy now your are the top swimmer in girls. Ok . So why did it take so long to make the transformation. YOU GOT SICK OF LOOSING.

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S. Mitchell
7 months ago

The solution is very simple. Let the biological girls who qualify, attend the meet and then refuse to swim any event. All of them. The resulting disaster would end the transgender woke idiocy right after the first event. Buy the way, the same solution would be equally effective in any sport

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Amy
7 months ago
Reply to  S. Mitchell

This craziness is not the girl swimmers fault. It’s the fault of the adults around them. The NCAA, USA Swimming, the Ivy League and other universities allowing this BS, the media, corporations, the government.

Why should the girls have to pay the price for adults insanity in buying into the gender craziness 1000000%

I remember being their age and competing. That’s already a lot of pressure right there, and this is just adding to it.

I can’t even imagine what these poor girls are going through. The obvious unfairness, that the world sees, while the people who are supposed to make these competitions fair are destroying women’s sports.

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Ginny Johnston
7 months ago
Reply to  Amy

Right on.

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Season
7 months ago
Reply to  Amy

“These poor girls”! Lol. Ain’t no poor girls at Penn; they were born filthy rich and have had every (unfair or otherwise) advantage money can buy (pool, private trainers, etc). Get real and stop being Transphobic.

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Mike
7 months ago
Reply to  S. Mitchell

Good answer

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Stanton
7 months ago
Reply to  S. Mitchell

I think that is the only solution. Refuse to compete against wrongful misguided stupid ridiculous unintelligent practices.

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Billy Hill
7 months ago

I hope all women stop competing until the rules are changed.

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Anonymous
7 months ago

I love it. Men are winning. If women won’t stand up for themselves I’m gonna enjoy the fkn show.

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Ben
7 months ago

Why does this article say “she” in regards to this man? Does truth not matter in journalism?

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Colleen H
7 months ago

It’s a drastic step, but its time for ALL biological women to boycott these swim meets whenever a trans mtf person gets in the water. These women are going to lose anyway, they might as well do it for a good reason. When Lia Thomas finds “her”self all alone in the pool, maybe someone will get the message.

What I simply cannot understand is this willingness to bend over backwards for a few individuals in the name of “inclusion” and “diversity”. While we all want to be fair to people who are differently abled, we all know that there are many people who will never be able to qualify to participate in competitive sports. A person with a heart condition, or muscular dystrophy, or spina bifida will not be able to participate in competitive sports. They are medically unable to compete in that level. Special Olympics is an option for some of those people, but no one feels the need to “be inclusive” and allow people with medical conditions to make the US Olympic Ski/Swimming/Boxing teams. The simple truth is, a mtf trans person is not medically or physically the same as a biological woman. This should be obvious, and as a medical issue, no one should feel guilty for stating the obvious. Trans people are entitled to live their daily lives exactly as they please. That doesn’t mean they’re entitled to be allowed to compete in competitive sporting events just because they want to.

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Lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Colleen H

These people want special rights for their queerness.

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Kevin
7 months ago

I wonder how many schools are outright threatening the biological women who have to compete to not protest this rule during the meet. I imagine I’ll have a fair number of friends that supported Kapernick doing a 180 when it’s a sports protest they don’t agree with.

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Season
7 months ago

Lia identifies as a woman and therefore should be allowed on any women’s team she qualifies for athletically. She is a woman because she identifies as a woman. Period. The vast majority of Penn students have an unfair advantage because they were born to rich parents who bought them expensive training and education. That is the only reason they are on a college level team. They are Transphobic.

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first time, long time
7 months ago
Reply to  Season

huh? I actually showed up to the Lakers facility and informed the security guard that I identified as an NBA power forward and demanded a try out> he laughed and escorted me out of the building….just not fair.

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Lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Season

You are plain stupid.

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John
7 months ago

Well said Colleen H.
As for what Season posted, Lia was not born into the Royal Family in the UK. Should she be as bitter as you seem to be about rich people? If so, I hope you will help her to ‘identify as a Royal’ and enjoy the luxuries trhey deserve. Or are you Royalphobic?