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NAIA policy protects women’s sports from biological men

Freed-Hardeman guard Quan Lax wears the championship banner after the NAIA 2024 men's national championship college basketball game. Associated Press/Photo by Charlie Riedel

NAIA policy protects women’s sports from biological men

On Monday, the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics said it would protect women’s sports from domination by biologically male athletes. It is one of the first major collegiate athletics organizations in the United States to do so. The NAIA’s policy takes a different approach, for instance, than the larger NCAA’s 2011 and 2022 policies that allowed males who self-identify as women to compete in some women’s sports.

What’s the new policy? Any NAIA athletes can compete in the league’s male sports competitions, but only biological females can compete in the league’s women’s competitions, according to a document provided to WORLD by the organization. The organization said the new rules will promote fairness and comply with Title IX, the 1972 women’s rights law. It will still allow athletes who identify as a different gender to compete, NAIA said.

What is this league? The NAIA is a sports association geared towards small colleges. It helps colleges spend less on athletics while still offering their students a chance to compete at the collegiate level, according to the group’s website.

What sorts of schools are in this league? The NAIA has published a list of its member schools. Several Christian colleges are members, including Dordt University, Huntington University, and Bryan College. 

Dig deeper: Read Lauren Canterberry’s report in Relations about female athletes suing the NCAA for forcing them to compete with men who identify as women.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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