New policy allows transgender teen to wrestle boys, but not in high school events

HURST - If Hurst teen Mack Beggs wants to wrestle this spring and summer, the transgender boy will only have the option to wrestle boys under a new policy adopted by USA Wrestling.

The governing body for amateur wrestling adopted the policy at its executive committee meeting on March 14.

The policy states anyone transitioning from female to male "shall only be eligible to compete in the male category without restriction."  The athlete need only "declared that his gender identity is male."

The policy stands in direct contrast with a rule approved by the University Interscholastic League in 2016 that requires public school students to compete based on their assigned gender at birth.

Tony Black with USA Wrestling, which operates under the U.S. Olympic Committee, told News 8 on Thursday the policy was adopted ahead of its season that begins in March.

“I would say a changing culture and ensuring that we’re in line with the International Olympic Committee recommendations on this exact matter," Black said.

The move comes one month after Beggs, a Euless Trinity High junior, won the girls state 6A wrestling title in the 110lb weight class.

Beggs, 17, identifies as male and receives doctor prescribed testosterone treatments as part of his transition.

Parents of wrestlers he defeated said those treatments constituted an unfair advantage and put their daughters at risk of injury.

A Coppell parent filed a civil lawsuit against the UIL asking that Beggs be unable to compete in the girls division during his senior year in 2017-18.

Organizations like the IOC and NCAA allow athletes to compete in sports based on the gender they identify with.

The UIL transgender rule prevented Beggs from competing against boys in high school tournaments, but the USA Wrestling rule will allow him to do so in off-season, non UIL events.

The policy is effective immediately.

USA Wrestling Transgender Policy by wfaachannel8 on Scribd

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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