InterMat Wrestling – Texas takes new look at rules to allow girls to wrestle boys

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Texas, one of the first states to have separate wrestling competition for girls and boys, may change rules that would allow girls to wrestle boys, opening the possibility of inclusion of transgender athletes in competition, the Dallas News reported Thursday.

The potential change may be the product of Texas transgender high school wrestler Mack Beggs, a young athlete transitioning from female to male who won two girls state championships in 2017 and 2018 … but wanted to wrestle boys. However, Texas’ University-Interscholastic League required Beggs to wrestle opponents that were the same gender as listed on his or her birth certificate.

The UIL met this past weekend to consider a UIL Legislative Council proposal which states, “Girls may try out for, and if selected, participate on any boys’ team regardless of the fact that there may be a girls’ team in the same sport.”

Note that the UIL already allows girls to try out for boys’ teams if there’s not a corresponding alternative — such as football — or enough participation to field girls’ soccer or basketball squads. However, in Texas, there are separate competitions in wrestling for boys and girls at the high school level.

In fact, a line in the proposal also addresses wrestling: “Girls may try out for and, if they are selected, wrestle on a boys’ wrestling team and wrestle boys.”

While the proposed rule does not specifically address transgender athletes such as Mack Beggs, it is hoped that it would open up new competitive opportunities to transitioning athletes.

Meanwhile, Mack Beggs has graduated from high school. The 19-year-old is enrolled at Life University in Marietta, Ga. just outside Atlanta. Beggs is now a member of the school’s men’s intercollegiate wrestling program.

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