Transgender athletes must request permission to participate by submitting a request to the chair of the Gender Commission (GC). Requests should be sent to ChairGenderCom@usav.org.
Note: This process does not apply to any competition or event where the International Olympic Committee’s policy on transgender (TG) may apply, or to an international competition involving the USA National Teams. This may include, without limitation: (i) USA Volleyball National Team competitions or events, and (ii) competitions or events operated or sanctioned by FIVB, the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee or World Para Volley, whether involving beach, indoor or sitting disciplines.
The vast majority of athletes are expected to compete as a member of the gender noted at the time of birth on their birth certificate. The goal of the USA Volleyball (USAV) policy is to permit athletes to compete in the gender with which they identify, while maintaining competitive equity. Athletes who wish to compete as a member of the gender opposite that assigned at birth must notify USAV of their intent at least six weeks prior to the competition in which they wish to participate. Sufficient documentation must be provided to permit the GC to determine that the applicant has taken the necessary steps to transition to their adopted gender.
All TG athletes must submit: 1) a statement that they wish to compete in the gender opposite that of their birth. Minors: parents or guardians must submit a similar statement, 2) statement from the treating physician and medical records as indicated, 3) lab reports of testosterone levels for athletes over age 13 as noted below. The GC may share relevant information with medical experts, as necessary. Once the GC has all required documentation, commission review will be completed within 10 days.
Androgenic hormones may possibly provide TG athletes with an unfair competitive advantage, so the GC may require TG athletes to provide documentation of appropriately managed therapy at the time of initial application to compete. After approval to compete as a member of their adopted gender, documentation must be re-submitted and approved yearly. The GC will serve as the point of contact for all inquiries regarding these participants. The expense of any required testing will be the responsibility of the athlete.
Current transgender testing requirements are as follows:
Assigned Female at Birth to Male, all age groups (prepubertal, pubertal, and adult)
All athletes must submit appropriate documentation upon request. Testosterone levels must not exceed the upper limit of the normal male reference range for their age group.
Assigned Male at Birth to Female
All athletes must submit appropriate documentation upon request. Testosterone levels must not exceed the upper limit of the normal female reference range for their age group.
Age 12 and Under (Prepubertal or Youth)
No restriction if seeking to play on a female team.
Age 13-18 (registered as a Junior, including a 19-year-old still in high school) (Pubertal or Adolescent)
Testosterone levels must be within normal female reference range (for the age range) for a minimum of 6 months preceding the application to participate.
Age18 and Over (registered as an Adult)
Testosterone levels must be less than 10 nmol/L for a minimum of 1 year prior to the application to participate.
All GC decisions are effective for one season and must be reevaluated with appropriate documentation the following season.