Could we get administrator control over the gender question, asked during the profile creation process? Either the ability to change the options or the ability to shut it off completely would be fine? This is becoming a real issue around campuses and it would be nice to avoid the eventual problems arising from students who feel like they are not represented by the question. We are currently changing the structure of our intramural program to be all Co Rec, making all divisions based on level of competition, rather than along gender lines.
change gender identification question?
That is an interesting proposal, Are you making them CoRec or more like Open Leagues? Here our CoRec have gender requirements of half the participants while our open leagues have no gender restriction/requirement. I was just wondering how you set yours up as on my campus still have a larger base of students associating as male. Do you think that this will affect your numbers and programming if they are CoRec, as sometimes our CoRec teams have issues finding enough members of one gender or the other, so we work to merge teams and use free agents to assist in filling.
We are in the planning stages right now, but the leagues and tournaments will be in practical terms Open leagues. It is all still in the planning stages but we are considering using the term CoRec with the students, though teams may be comprised of a single self identified gender. We will not ask nor require the students to disclose their gender identification. Our leagues will only be divided by competition level, so highly competitive A level and our more recreational fun B level leagues. We do not have a large enough student body to have more than two competition levels. Our students views on labels and gender identity is something that has been evolving, many are starting to become put off by labels and view them as divisive, so we are trying to adapt with them. It seemed like the most practical solution to encourage inclusion and hopefully increase participation. We don't want students not playing simply because they are not comfortable declaring their gender publicly or due to the fact their identity does not match the registration options. It also eliminates the problem of not having enough teams for all womens divisions and True CoRec teams that can't get enough of a particular gender to play. we have never required a minimum ratio for CoRec, but we do have a majority of female identified students on campus.
Thanks for bringing this up, @McComb! I also feel it would be really valuable to have some degree of administrative control over the gender classification question.
A challenge is that the Man/Woman identity has an operational function (e.g. preventing someone who identifies as a Man from enrolling in a Women's league).
However, one way to work around/with this is that if a registrant selected a third gender option (e.g. "Another", "Other", or "Prefer not to disclose") then they could be allowed to participate in leagues that are set up as Open (no gender restrictions) in IMLeagues, but not Men's/Women's/Co-Rec. Given that it seems many schools are going the route of Open leagues any way, this minor change could go a long way toward supporting students who identify outside the gender binary.
This seems to be an evolving discussion and we've attempted to do our best to be as inclusive as possible while at the same time including the functional benefit of allowing male/female restrictions throughout the site. At IMLeagues we have adapted how we handle "gender" to comply with NIRSA's policy ( http://title-ix.blogspot.com/2015/01/college-rec-sports-has-new-policy-of.html ). Basically when you go to sign up we ask "I play Sports As" to avoid the term gender entirely. This allows the individual to self-identify at their own discretion, but it does require them to identify a gender that they are playing sports as so they can't switch between male/female leagues and for the purposes of CoRec leagues with min male/female requirements. Also, If you wish to go beyond this and prompt for a specific gender for reporting purposes (or add an option to choose not to identify) you can add a custom registration question and add as many options as you would like.
We can certainly look into adding the ability to remove the question entirely, the main issue there is as mentioned above that would either mean restricting those that don't identify to only playing in specific leagues (doesn't seem that inclusive to me haha) or only allowing Open leagues. Of course we're happy to listen to any suggestions on this topic as we absolutely want to be as inclusive as possible, for now what we've tried to do is follow NIRSA's lead in how balance inclusiveness with the benefits of male/female restrictions.
In order to nullify gender confusion or possible offense why not differentiate teams based on chromosomes. So instead of a men's and women's team there'd be team XY and team XX. People may claim they identify as a certain gender but they can't claim to identify as a certain DNA makeup. Otherwise I could identify as being twenty feet tall and wish to be put in a world record book as tallest man.
I know you said that you have a program with the size to only have two distinctions, I am curious as to your program size, amount of participants, etc. I would also be very curious to see how your program evolves.
This distinction based on competitive levels is very intriguing and I would consider something similar if needed.
@Haling The problem with that though is that XY and XX aren't the only biological makeups. So when we're dealing with gender identity and inclusion it goes well beyond XY and XX if we're trying to be as inclusive as possible.