Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board Approves First Transgender Student-Athlete

The AIA Executive Board has approved the participation of a transgender high school athlete. (Photo: Provided by the Arizona Interscholastic Assocition)
The AIA Executive Board has approved the participation of a transgender high school athlete.
(Photo: Provided by the Arizona Interscholastic Assocition)

On Monday, the Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board approved the first transgender student-athlete to play in a winter sport in Arizona.

Chuck Schmidt, associate executive director of the AIA, said he could not give the name of the athlete, nor the sport, school and sex in order to protect the student-athlete’s privacy.

An AIA subcommittee recommended the eligibility of the transgender athlete to the board, which unanimously voted to allow the student-athlete to play.

Schmidt said there have been several cases of transgender athletes appealing to play in the past, but the board denied those until now.

The AIA, Arizona’s high school sports governing body, doesn’t have legislation that opens the door for all transgender athletes to participate in sports. Schmidt said it is case by case, such as hardship appeals.

“We look at the school,” Schmidt said. “Do they support the request? We look at the student. There is a lot of documentation to explore, the gender dysphoria. Are they working with medical professionals? Where are the parents and students themselves? What are their positions? How long have they identified as the opposite sex they were born?

“All of that is taken into consideration and the potential impact it would have on other students. All of those things came together. Based on all of the information, the subcommittee recommended approval, and it was supported by the board.”

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SOURCE: AZCentral.com
Richard Obert

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