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USA Volleyball clarifies its transgender guidelines

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Trans women need to take one key step.

Olympics: Volleyball Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

Last month we posted the story of Tia Thompson, the trans woman who has been granted permission by USA Volleyball to compete as a women in their tournaments. She also talked about wanting to compete in the Olympics for the United States in 2020.

Now USA Volleyball is clarifying its trans policy due to what calls “inaccurate” reports.

Their full statement:

USA Volleyball supports the inclusion of transgender athletes in USA Volleyball events in the gender in which they self-identify, yet also prioritizes a fair and competitive landscape. As such, subject to applicable laws and regulations, all athletes over the age of 12 wishing to participate in the gender that differs from their birth gender are required to provide medical documentation to the USAV Gender Committee demonstrating that their testosterone levels do not exceed the upper limit of the normal reference range in their desired gender of play for their age group.

The USA Volleyball transgender guidelines do not apply to athletes desiring to represent the United States in the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and all other international competitions which are under the control of the relevant governing body.

Our earlier report, along with those of various other media outlets, said the policy included “hormone therapy and changing the gender on various legal documents.” The latter half of that seems to have been incorrect.

It’s a positive move, given how difficult some places, like Texas, make it for trans people to get their birth certificates changed. According to at least one report, only 34 people in the entire state of Texas were able to get the sex on their birth certificates changed last year.