THSLL News

Posted on January 26, 2022

The Texas High School Lacrosse League is deeply committed to enriching diversity and inclusion through on-going efforts to cultivate a climate for all participants in the Lacrosse community. We strive to provide inclusive rules and policies and promulgate equity and access in recruitment and retention of our player/participants. We value diversity and inclusion in the sports environment and believe it is vital to the fulfillment of the THSLL mission. The following statement contains  THSLL’s policy and guidelines for prospective transgender and non-binary athletes seeking to participate in the THSLL.

The THSLL requires each player/participant recognize the physical requirements to compete in the THSLL and appreciate the risks, including the risk of catastrophic injury, paralysis and even death, as well as other damages and losses, associated with participation in a lacrosse event. The THSLL also recognizes that the term diversity implies a respect for all and an understanding of individual differences including race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ancestry, mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, genetic information and any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law, so that all participant of the lacrosse community are treated equally.

With respect to the practices and policies for the inclusion of transgender and non-binary youth athletes, the State of Texas, as governing body for the University Interscholastic League (“UIL”), has codified the rule which requires that an athlete’s gender shall be determined by the sex listed on their birth certificate. Other States, and United States Lacrosse,  have codified rules whereby a transgender athlete is allowed to participate in accordance with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the athlete’s birth certificate or other records and regardless of whether the prospective participant has undergone any medical treatment to alter their gender. 

The THSLL is not subject to the either the UIL rules, rules of other jurisdictions, or the United States Lacrosse rules. Consequently, the THSLL shall remain neutral regarding the participation of transgender/non-binary athletes and permit each club/high school to promulgate their own policies and procedures. 

While not advancing any specific policy or procedure, the THSLL shall make the following recommendations for its participating teams to practice:

  1. At all times, teammates, coaches, and others should respect the confidentiality of transgender and non-binary athletes. Discussion or disclosure of an individual’s transgender status should only take place after expressed permission is given by the individual or their parents. 
  2. In all cases, teammates, coaches, and all others should refer to transgender and non-binary athletes by the athlete’s preferred name. Similarly, in all cases, pronoun references to transgender and non-binary athletes should reflect the athlete’s gender and pronoun preferences. 
  3. Teams, programs, and host sites should allow transgender athletes to access locker rooms and bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.
  4. Leagues should work with officials to enforce the zero-tolerance policy and educate them to support and protect transgender and non-binary athletes in instances of discrimination or bullying either from other players or the sidelines. 
  5. Teams should provide training to their coaches, staff, and regular volunteers regarding their responsibilities to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Such topics should include terms and concepts of gender identity and expression and bystander intervention strategies related to bullying. Be prepared to address discriminatory behavior, based on any perceived or actual gender identity or gender expression of an athlete. The team or program should make available these policies and educational resources to parents.   
     
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