Florida board removes questions on female athletes’ menstrual history

Tampa Bay Times | By Christopher O’Donnell | February 9, 2023

The Florida High School Athletic Association meets today to discuss controversial medical form.

Questions about students’ menstrual cycle will no longer appear on a medical form that clears them to compete in high school sports, a state athletic association’s governing board decided today.

The Florida High School Athletic Association’s governing board voted 14-2 today to adopt a new version of a medical form that doctors sign to clear students to take part in sports beginning in the 2023-24 school year.

The group’s governing board held an emergency meeting at 10:30 a.m.in Gainesville to take action on a proposal to update the medical form that students and their doctor must complete to participate in school sports.

The athletic association, a nonprofit that administers and promotes high school sports, had been considering the idea of adopting a national participation form, which made previously optional questions about menstruation mandatory for female students. The forms are typically filed with students’ schools.

The Florida High School Athletic Association is meeting today. [ Veronica Gonzalez ]

That raised concerns about students’ privacy and led advocates for female athletes to warn that it would deter these students from taking part in sports.

In response, the nonprofit moved up discussion of the issue to today’s emergency meeting. The association’s executive director is recommending that students’ medical forms be kept by their doctor with only the physicians’ signature page submitted to schools, according to the meeting agenda.

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