TOPEKA (KSNT)- Transgender athletes in Kansas will have to play by a new set of rules, starting July 1.
“Those that participate on the female side or on the girls’ side must be born as a female or as a girl,” said Bill Faflick, Executive Director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA).
In an exclusive interview with Kansas Capitol Bureau, the Executive Director shared details on the upcoming changes.
Faflick said the new rule will only apply to girls’ sports teams. He said that also means that a biological girl who is transitioning to a boy, will have to play on the male’s team.
“They would no longer be eligible to participate on that female team, should they have transitioned to male and taking testosterone,” Faflick said. “If a student is a transgender female participating… they may always participate on the boys’ team.”
KSHSAA already requires physical screenings for all athletes. However, questions have been swirling about whether genital exams would be used, during the process of verifying an athlete’s biological sex. Faflick said that’s not the case.
“Hyperbole on that has simply come from social media… where people don’t really understand…,” Faflick said.
The new rule would require students to present their first birth certificate to verify their biological sex. If they’re not able to, then a physician would have to sign off on documentation, verifying the athlete’s “sex at birth.”
“We leave it to the doctors to use best practices to determine how they would determine that sex of a student at birth. The time that physical exams in terms of genitalia exams would take place [is] in case of a suspected hernia… that’s about the only time,” Faflick explained.
As far as how many athletes in the state would be impacted, Faflick said the effect would be “minimal.”
According to a spokesman for KSHSAA, there were three transgender females in Kansas who were eligible to participate this year. Two of them are no longer participating and graduate this spring.
“The impact will be minimal other than potentially some significant mental health concerns,” Faflick said. “We want every student to feel like they belong to a school and a community…and have an opportunity to participate.”