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UIL Statement Regarding 2017 Wrestling State Tournament

Media Contact: Kate Hector
Phone: 512-471-5883

Date: Feb 22, 2017
Category: AthleticsGeneral Information


UIL Statement

The UIL strives to provide fair and equitable competitions for all students.  UIL is a member-driven organization whose more than 1400 member schools follow a transparent process to make the rules that govern UIL competitions.  The UIL Legislative Council is the rule making body composed of 32 school administrators. The Legislative Council hears proposed rules from stakeholder groups and members of the public in an open public forum where all are welcome.  This open approach has produced rules that reflect views widely held by school districts across the state and are intended to serve Texas students.

To compete at this year’s wrestling state tournament all students are subject to UIL rules and state law. This helps ensure a fair competition to the more than 400 students participating. We will continue to work with member schools to best meet the needs of all students.  

UIL Wrestling Eligibility FAQ

What do UIL rules say about transgender athletes?

The UIL rule (Section 360 of UIL Constitution and Contest Rules), which is set by representatives of member school districts across Texas, states that gender will be determined based on a student’s birth certificate for the purpose of UIL participation and competition.

How was the birth certificate rule established?

After approval by the Legislative Council, the rule regarding birth certificates was placed, along with other UIL rules, on a referendum ballot so all UIL-member school superintendents could vote on this addition to the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules.  On the referendum ballot, 95 percent of UIL-member school superintendents voted in favor of this item. The results of the ballot can be found here: (ballot item 3)

The Legislative Council and the Commissioner of Education approved this rule change before it took effect on August 1, 2016.

Can birth certificates be amended in Texas?

Yes, case law indicates that individuals can petition the court to amend their birth certificate.  UIL rules recognize any such changes to an individuals’ birth certificate.

What are the rules for steroid use?

Both state laws and UIL rules prohibit illegal steroid use during athletic events. State law (Section 33.091 of the Texas Education Code) provides an exception for a steroid that is prescribed by a medical practitioner for a valid medical purpose.  Under this law, students receiving such treatment are not subject to losing their UIL eligibility.  (“…a student is not subject to a period of ineligibility under Subsection (d) (6) on the basis of that steroid use.”  Section 33.091 (h) Texas Education Code).

From 2007 through 2015, the UIL administered the steroid testing program, and students were randomly tested in accordance with state law and UIL rules. In 2015, the state legislature ended the funding for the testing program, so the UIL no longer performs random anabolic steroid tests. These rules and laws, however, remain in effect.

Could the birth certificate rule change in the future?

Yes. All UIL rules are created by, and subject to change by, the Legislative Council, which meets twice annually. The next Legislative Council meeting is in June. 

Do other states allow coed wrestling?

44 of the 51 high school state associations do not sponsor separate competitions for girls wrestling. Coed wrestling is the national standard for interscholastic and club wrestling and is widely-viewed as safe for participants of both genders.  

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