Extracurriculars and Athletics - The Pregnant Scholar
16806
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-16806,page-child,parent-pageid-15736,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-8.0,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive
 

Extracurriculars and Athletics

Colleges are responsible for ensuring pregnant students don’t face discrimination in extracurricular activities, athletics, and other out-of-classroom programs.

Extracurricular Activities

Pregnant students are also protected by Title IX in extracurricular activities.  Your participation in a university club, student group, academic society, etc. can’t be limited because of your pregnancy or related condition. 

For example, your intramural sports club should not say that you can’t play because you are pregnant.  The club could ask you to bring a note saying it is safe for you to play, but only if it requires other students with conditions requiring a doctor’s care to bring in notes.  As another example, you can’t kicked out or banned from being a member of an honor society due to your pregnancy, childbirth, or abortion, etc.   

Note, there is a Title IX exemption for the membership rules of fraternities and sororities; for questions related to their practices, contact your Title IX office.

Athletics

Participation: Student athletes can’t be penalized because of pregnancy, false pregnancy, childbirth, termination of pregnancy, or related conditions/recovery. Pregnant athletes must be treated like any other athlete with a temporary disability.

Your college or university can’t force you to stop participating in your sport because of your pregnancy, even if the school’s decision is based on an assumption that it is unsafe for you to play.  You may be asked to provide a medical clearance to play only if players with other medical conditions are asked too.  Your physician does not need to share information to the team other than what is usually required for other medical conditions.  If there is a disagreement about whether it is safe for you to play, the NCAA tells coaches to rely on the opinion of your obstetrician or other specialist.

Additionally, if students with other medical conditions are given modifications (different workouts, more frequent water breaks, etc.) pregnant students should also get modifications, if needed.  If other student athletes who take time off due to an injury/medical condition can apply for a waiver to extend their athletic eligibility, athletes who miss time due to pregnancy or a related condition must also be allowed to apply.  The NCAA has allowed students who miss time due to pregnancy and related conditions to get extensions.

Scholarships: The Title IX regulations say that school financial assistance programs can’t apply rules that treat students differently because of their sex.  That means that you can’t lose your athletic scholarship just because you are pregnant.  If you have an athletic scholarship and can’t play because of your medical condition, you must be treated the same as any other student with a temporary disability, including keeping benefits while in recovery, and renewal of your award.

For more information, see the NCAA toolkit on pregnant student athletes and contact your institution’s Title IX coordinator.