(CBS DETROIT) – A bill backed by Michigan Senate Republicans can shake up how high school sports are played in the state.

The bill would ban transgender girls from playing on girls’ teams and block transgender boys from competing with boys.

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But the Michigan High School Athletics Association is speaking out against the measure.

“Not having some state law, actually having a policy that we have right now put into place allows us some flexibility to work with each one of those, again, one-by-one to do so with lots of sensitivity. Our policy is efficient, but it’s also compassionate. If you take that and then add in the fact that all of these girls who currently play on boys’ teams would not be allowed to do so, yeah, we don’t feel like this is something that’s needed,” said Michigan High School Athletics Association Communications Director Geoff Kimmerly.

Kimmerly says the bill is unnecessary and could hurt small communities that allow girls to compete with boys.

The MHSAA communications director says the practice often happens in sports like golf and swimming.

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“We only have one to two request on our transgender policy per year, which obviously is not very many, especially when we have about 180,000 high school athletes every year, but what we do have many more of our girls who play on boys teams, which would not be allowed if this were to become law,” said Kimmerly.

State Senator Lana Theis of Brighton argues the bill protects female sports. After introducing the measure, she said in a statement:

“Something must be done to preserve the legacy of Title IX — a staple of American society. So, very simply, my bill will ensure that in school sports in Michigan, student-athletes will compete against one another according to their biological sex, females against females and males against males.”

The bill advances to the Senate committee on education and career readiness for consideration.

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