US LACROSSE EVENTS POLICY AND RECOMMENDED PRACTICES FOR THE INCLUSION OF YOUTH TRANSGENDER ATHLETES
US Lacrosse seeks to foster a national lacrosse community that encourages understanding, appreciation and acceptance of all within its membership, volunteer base, and staff. Further, US Lacrosse believes that broad representation and participation add significant value to the lacrosse experience of each of us, and that these valued experiences are enhanced by embracing underrepresented and underserved communities.
- Official US Lacrosse Inclusion Statement
US Lacrosse has developed this Events Policy and Recommended Practices for the Inclusion of Youth Transgender Athletes in a proactive effort to help guide and support members of the lacrosse community. The goal of this policy and the related recommended practices is to provide transgender athletes an avenue to participate in competitive lacrosse, while also assisting local organizations with the tools to establish appropriate policies and procedures for transgender athletes. These guidelines are applicable to youth transgender athletes (under 18) who desire to compete in local lacrosse competition below the elite level.
Elite athletes (over 18) have the opportunity to qualify for the U.S. National Team and represent the United States in international competition. Eligibility for transgender participation at US Lacrosse elite level will be governed by all applicable policies and criteria established by the governing bodies with jurisdiction over international competition: the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).
The issue of gender identity in athletics is largely determined on a state by state basis, and the particular facts and circumstances of each situation will largely determine the outcome. As a result, US Lacrosse cannot and does not regulate transgender participation either on a statewide basis or at the local level. It is the goal of US Lacrosse, however, that these recommended Event Policies and Practices for transgender inclusion will assist local lacrosse organizations and other lacrosse-related professionals in making informed decisions regarding transgender participation matters.
A transgender youth athlete should be allowed lacrosse participation in accordance with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the athlete’s birth certificate or other records and regardless of whether the athlete has undergone any medical treatment. Team or league policies should not prevent an athlete from electing to participate in an activity according to his or her gender identity.
This means an athlete who is biologically female but has a male gender identity should be allowed to participate in male events and an athlete who is biologically male but has a female gender identity should be allowed to participate in female events. Such a policy is not required by US Lacrosse, but it is the recommended policy of US Lacrosse.
This policy still supports the US Lacrosse Gender Classification Position Statement which states that both tradition and the rules of play for the women’s game are intended to limit participation in the women’s game to females and tradition and the rules of play for the men’s game are intended to limit participation in the men’s game to males.
Below are suggestions for coaches, officials and administrators to assist in their interaction with transgender lacrosse athletes.
1. When an athlete (and/or the athlete’s parents) discloses a transgender identity, coaches should request a change of the athlete’s gender by contacting Membership staff at US Lacrosse. Once this is completed, the athlete will be able to be entered in events that match his/her gender identity.
2. At all times, teammates, coaches, and others should respect the confidentiality of transgender athletes. Discussion or disclosure of an individual’s gender identity should only take place after expressed permission is given by the individual or their parents.
3. In all cases, teammates, coaches, and all others should refer to transgender athletes by the athlete’s preferred name. Similarly, in all cases, pronoun references to transgender athletes should reflect the athlete’s gender and pronoun preferences.
4. Anticipate and address any transgender access issues, including making locker rooms and bathrooms safely available.
5. Teams should provide training to their staff and regular volunteers regarding their responsibilities to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Such topics should include terms and concepts of gender identity and expression and bystander intervention strategies related to bullying. Be prepared to address discriminatory behavior, based on any perceived or actual gender identity or gender expression of an athlete
Transgender Law Center – State Laws and Policy Map
National Collegiate Athletic Association LGBTQ Resources:
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Transgender Policy:
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Transgender Resources:
Human Rights Campaign Transgender Resources:
US Lacrosse Gender Classification Position Paper
*Portions of this document have been taken from USA Swimming Policy for Transgender Inclusion adopted in July 2015. US Lacrosse has modified this publication to fit its needs. All registered trademarks and/or copyrights are property of their respective owner.