USA Artistic Swimming Announces Transgender Policy With No Restrictions

USA Artistic Swimming (USAAS), the national governing body for artistic swimming, has announced a new gender inclusion policy with no restrictions on which category an athlete is eligible to compete in.

The policy, designed by the USAAS Board of Directors, will give athletes the freedom to select which gender-based category they’ll compete in.

“Athletes of all gender identities have the choice to participate in all USAAS sanctioned and owned events in the category which they feel most closely aligns with their gender identity,” the release says. “Participants do not need to and will not be asked to provide evidence of hormone treatment or surgical intervention.”

Below is an outline of the different categories USAAS will offer:

Solo Categories: Girl/Woman Solo (athlete who identifies as a girl/woman)Boy/Man Solo (athlete who identifies as boy/man)Gender Inclusive Solo (open to athletes who do not identify as girl/woman or boy/man)

Duet Categories: Girls/Women Duet (both athletes identify as a girl/woman)Boys/Men Duet (both athletes identify as a boy/man)Mixed Duet (one athlete identifies as boy/man, one girl/woman)Gender Inclusive Duet (one or more athlete(s) who do not identify as girl/woman or boy/man)

The team events will be open with no gender restrictions.

The policy will come into effect for the first time this summer, with USAAS offering the inclusive option at the U.S. Junior Olympic Championship and the U.S. Masters Championship in 2023.

“As a transgender artistic swimmer, I was really nervous when I came out to my team, but the synchro community has been so incredibly supportive,” said Cameron Seidman, a USAAS member. “It is amazing to see USA Artistic Swimming put policies into place to make people feel safe and included, especially in a year full of anti-trans policies.”

The USAAS policy conflicts with the new set of rules implemented by World Aquatics (then FINA) last year, which disallows transgender women who transitioned after age 12 to compete in the men’s category in any of the aquatic sports. World Aquatics said last June it had plans on implementing a third “open” category.

USAAS says after a trial run this summer, the new categories will be offered at all sanctioned and national events in 2024.

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7 months ago

HELL YESSS!!! In your faces all you t haters about time this world ended this madness of yours. this has made my night.

7 months ago

This is artistic swimming and more like dance than competitive swimming. Dance has mixed men and women so I don’t see an issue here. Grace is as important as strength and endurance. A man to woman may not be such an advantage hete

Tracy Kosinski
7 months ago

I’m sure Gaines will be on TV with Tucker later today, with her 5th place trophy sitting beside her, lol.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Tracy Kosinski
7 months ago

That she had to WAIT! FOR!

7 months ago

Then you don’t need 2 categories

Reply to  Liz
7 months ago

Do they have a men’s category? This was a women’s only sport for the longest time.

7 months ago

If you’re mad at this you actually need to touch grass and seek help

Tracy Kosinski
Reply to  Marsh
7 months ago

When the whole Lia Thomas debacle started, I was behind her 100% before researching the issues for a paper I wrote.

I’m still behind her – although now I know she should never have been allowed to compete in the women’s category.

Sherry Smit
7 months ago

Riley Gaines is gonna have a word

Reply to  Sherry Smit
7 months ago

Hope this comment stays up!

Steve Nolan
Reply to  JoeBrandon
7 months ago


7 months ago

Helllo yes thank you more of this!

7 months ago

I can see some overzealous parents encouraging their kid to not identify in order to compete in the less crowded “other” class.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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