AP

High school sports group rethinks menstrual cycle questions

Feb 7, 2023, 9:42 PM | Updated: Feb 8, 2023, 3:01 pm

FILE - The goalkeeper guards the net as girls take part in the first day of tryouts for the Fort Wa...

FILE - The goalkeeper guards the net as girls take part in the first day of tryouts for the Fort Walton Beach High School girls' soccer team in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Oct. 10, 2012. Facing blowback, the leader of Florida’s high school sports association is backing away from using a permission form that requires female athletes to disclose their menstrual history. The association's board is meeting Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, to vote on whether to adopt a new recommendation that most personal information revealed on a medical history form be left at the doctor’s office and not stored at school. (Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP, File)

(Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Facing blowback, the director of Florida’s high school sports governing body is backing away from using an eligibility form that requires female athletes to disclose their menstrual history in order to compete.

Instead, the executive director of the Florida High School Athletic Association is recommending that most personal information revealed on medical history forms stay at the doctor’s office and not be stored at school.

The association’s board has an emergency meeting Thursday to vote on whether to adopt the four-page form — which would remove questions that force student-athletes to share details about their menstruation cycles in order to be participate in sports.

Many other states ask or order female athletes to include details about their menstruation cycles with other health information.

The Florida association’s spokesperson has said the proposed changes were not in response to concerns about transgender athletes competing in women’s sports, as some social media users claim.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021 signed a bill barring transgender girls and women from playing on public school teams intended for student athletes identified as girls at birth, which put DeSantis and the state into the national cultural debate over transgender rights.

Under the new Florida recommendation, answers to additional questions about mental health, alcohol and drug use, and family health history would stay in the offices of the health care practitioner who conducted the medical screening.

An earlier version of the form, which had mandatory questions about students’ menstrual histories, had been recommended by an advisory committee of the association. Committee members said making the menstrual cycle questions mandatory rather than optional was consistent with national guidelines for sports physicals developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Sports Medicine and other groups.

The national guidelines said menstrual history is an “essential discussion for female athletes” because period abnormalities could be a sign of “low energy availability, pregnancy, or other gynecologic or medical conditions.”

However, the earlier version of the form “created concerns and questions from parents, school district administrators, school board members and coaches regarding the health privacy of student-athletes,” according to the Florida association board’s Thursday meeting agenda.

“Therefore, this recommendation provides pertinent medical history to the qualified health care practitioner and gives schools the medical authorization necessary for allowing athletic participation, while the protecting the privacy of the student-athlete,” the agenda item said.

Thursday’s meeting was being held after a group of Democratic state lawmakers sent a letter this week to John Gerdes, the association’s president, calling the reporting requirements in the earlier proposed form “highly invasive.” The letter said, “no girl should be forced to disclose her bodily functions to someone who is not her mother, father, caretaker, or physician.”

The state lawmakers said they were concerned that, if the schools had the information, a coach or athletic director would be able to get access to it. With the current form, such questions are optional, not mandatory; in the revised form under consideration, they would be scrapped.

“There is absolutely no reason for FHSAA to collect such private information and no reason why the schools need it,” the lawmakers said in the letter.

___

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at @MikeSchneiderAP

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

High school sports group rethinks menstrual cycle questions