Many athletic departments, organizations, teams, and leagues have regulations that address the event of pregnancy in their athletes. As interest and participation in women’s sports continues to grow, along with the number and profitability of female athletes, pregnancy clauses are becoming increasingly common in athletic contracts for women.

Pregnancy clauses are an often overlooked section of athletic contracts and sports deals but can have far-reaching consequences for female athletes. Many athletic departments and organizations have attempted to create standardized regulations on how to deal with female athletes who become pregnant; however, these attempts are usually confusing, unclear, and regularly fail to address the individual needs of the athlete that are unique to pregnancy.

Although there are distinct differences between gender identity and biological sex, at this point in time, there has not been a situation where an athlete identifies as a man, competes in men’s athletics, and yet is still capable of becoming pregnant. For this reason, this Article shall treat gender issues as encompassing the sex-specific ability of pregnancy.