NEW IGHSAU PRACTICE PROTOCOL POLICY
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Board of Directors approved a policy change at its November 14, 2015 meeting to allow boys to participate in a girls’ practice in all sanctioned sports. This is totally subject to each local school district approval. Each school district can establish their own procedure and protocol of whether to allow or not allow. This policy change is effective immediately at all 7-12 grade levels.
The initial concern centered around the sports of cross country, swimming and diving, bowling, track and field, tennis, and golf where practice facilities were shared and many times the school had the same coach for both boys and girls. The other four sports (volleyball, basketball, softball, and soccer) were of greater concern with regard to participation and risk of injury.
The general feeling was that this should be decided locally. Each district will need to determine whether they choose to allow boys to be involved in the girls’ practice and if any limitations will be included. Topics of eligibility, good conduct, academic checks, etc. will need to be addressed. We are awaiting a formal ruling from the Iowa Department of Education with regard to the boys needing a physical exam prior to participating. But until we get that ruling, the IGHSAU is requiring a physical be on file with the local school in order to participate.
It is important to recognize that the boys will not be considered as a part of the team roster. They may only be utilized in a practice setting … never allowed to formally compete or scrimmage against any opposing team or player.