NAIA College Athletics Org Bans Trans-Identifying Men From Competing In Women’s Sports

The new policy will go into effect on August 1.
Basketball player holding a ball, photo from the back
(Getty Images)

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which governs sports at more than 240 small colleges, announced a new policy on Monday banning trans-identifying male athletes from playing on women’s teams.

The NAIA Council of Presidents approved the new policy unanimously, 20-0, during its annual convention at its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.

The college athletics organization explained that it supports “fair and safe competition” for all its athletes and said Title IX ensures “separate and equal” opportunities for female athletes.

“Only NAIA student-athletes whose biological sex is female may participate in NAIA-sponsored female sports,” the new policy states.

Biological women who are taking “masculinizing hormone therapy” may participate in workouts, practices, and team activities on the women’s teams, but they cannot compete against other schools.

Meanwhile, all “eligible” student-athletes may compete on male teams, the policy says.

“Each NAIA sport includes some combination of strength, speed, and stamina, providing competitive advantages for male student-athletes,” reads the policy. “As a result, the NAIA policy for transgender student-athletes applies to all sports except for competitive cheer and competitive dance, which are open to all students.”

The decision comes at the recommendation of a task force the NAIA formed in 2022 to examine the trans-identifying athlete issue.

Prior to 2022, the NAIA’s policy mirrored that of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the larger organization with more than a thousand schools and the top college football and basketball programs. The NCAA allows trans-identifying men to play on women’s teams as long as they take cross-sex hormones for a year.

Starting in 2022, however, the NAIA started dealing with each sport on a case-by-case basis when it came to allowing trans-identifying men to compete against women.

After two years, the NAIA’s task force ultimately proposed banning trans-identifying men from competing in women’s sports, resulting in Monday’s policy.

The new policy is set to go into effect on August 1, just in time for next school year.


“We know there are a lot of opinions, and a lot of people have a very emotional reaction to this, and we want to be respectful of all that,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “But we feel like our primary responsibility is fairness in competition, so we are following that path. And we’ve tried as best we could to allow for some participation by all.”

This school year, the NAIA had 241 schools with 83,000 student-athletes playing for 28 national championships.

Last month, more than a dozen women athletes sued the NCAA over its transgender policy, including former college swimmer Riley Gaines, who had to swim against biological male Lia Thomas at the 2022 national championship.

Gaines and her female teammates also shared a locker room with Thomas.

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  NAIA College Athletics Org Bans Trans-Identifying Men From Competing In Women’s Sports