USA Wrestling, the governing body for amateur wrestling, issued new transgender guidelines that mandate those who transition from female to male compete in the male category. High school wrestlers typically compete in USA Wrestling-sanctioned events outside of their high school schedule.
The guideline has no bearing on the University Interscholastic League rule that forces Beggs to wrestle in the girls division. Last year, more than 600 Texas superintendents voted nearly unanimously to determine gender by birth certificate.
Beggs, who started doctor-prescribed testosterone treatment more than a year ago, heard some boos during the state championships held in a Houston suburb, and some parents complained that the use of testosterone gave Beggs, the 110-pound state champion, a physical advantage and put his opponents at risk of injury.
What USA wrestling is saying is we’re not going to discriminate. ... It’s a fair policy.
Attorney Jim Baudhuin, who filed a lawsuit seeking that the UIL ban Mack Beggs from competing in the girls division
Attorney Jim Baudhuin, the father of a female wrestler at Coppell High School, recently filed a lawsuit seeking that the UIL ban Beggs from competing in the girls division next season, when Beggs will be a senior.
“I just think it’s fundamentally fair,” Baudhuin said of the USA Wrestling guideline. “What USA wrestling is saying is we’re not going to discriminate. If you’re not eligible to compete in one division, there’s always a division for you to compete in. Like NCAA policy, once you start this (transition from female to male), there will be a place for you. It may not be where you started, but where you are headed. Which is fine. It’s a fair policy.”
The USA Wrestling guideline is now identical to those issued by the NCAA and International Olympic Committee.
In previous years, Beggs has wrestled against both boys and girls in USA Wrestling-sanctioned events. The new guideline will prevent Beggs from entering competitions in the girls division.
Beggs reiterated that he wants to wrestle against boys during a profile on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” shortly after capturing the championship.
“Boys wrestling is hard. It’s really, really hard,” Beggs said. “But I’ll do it. If it means wrestling with the guys, I’ll do it. It doesn’t invalidate how I wrestle and how my technique is. If I get beat, I get beat. I just didn’t train hard enough. I didn’t work hard enough.”
We are trying to get his (USA wrestling) application in for April and May.
Nancy Beggs, Mack Beggs’ grandmother and guardian
One such USA Wrestling event, the 2017 Girls Folkstyle National Championships, got underway Thursday at Oklahoma City. Beggs will attend this weekend as a spectator to cheer on several Trinity teammates. Beggs’ grandmother and guardian, Nancy Beggs, said Thursday that Beggs is hopeful of competing in local events over the next two months.
“We are trying to get his application in for April and May,” Nancy Beggs said via text message. “Going from female to male, so we have to file some paperwork.”
Baudhuin said a hearing is set for April 10 in Austin. He said the UIL is seeking to have the case dismissed.
Jeff Caplan: 817-390-7705, @Jeff_Caplan