It is being called a "clean-up of language" to the rules on allowing transgender athletes to compete in the high school sports of their choosing. What exactly has changed, and how could it impact your high school athletes, here is what you need to know.

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According to NPR Illinois, there were changes made to the policy of allowing transgender high school athletes in Illinois to play in the sport of their choosing. On the site, NPR says...

"...Student-athletes whose gender identity is different from their sex at birth will need to seek an eligibility ruling to participate in the postseason. The IHSA will review medical and school registration records, among other supporting documentation to determine eligibility. Students seeking a ruling may also submit a statement affirming their gender identity and letters of support from teachers, family, clergy, etc."

The article goes on to say that this is mainly for eligibility for state and regional playoffs so that there is an overarching rule covering statewide competitions. Meaning, that transgender athletes playing on a team's regular season, using locker rooms, and other policies are still being governed at the local district level. For more information on these changes click here!

The main thing to take away from this change is that there is now a policy in place for statewide competition that all transgender athletes will have to meet. Personally, I believe is a step in the right direction, I wish the state-wide ruling went further. To me leaving this up to individual school districts, schools, and athletic directors to figure out is not great. Each state should just have a clear-cut policy on whether or not transgender athletes can play, and if they can play the sport of the gender they align with vs. the gender on their birth certificate, then there should be a clear line in the sand of what they need to do to qualify for acceptance into that sport. The more cooks in the kitchen the worse the kitchen is, let the IHSA come up with an official policy, have it made into law that governs all high school sports in the state, and go from there.

But I could be wrong, I'm open ears for hearing your suggestion on how transgender athletes in high school athletics in the state of Illinois should be handled.

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