Title IX: The Rise of Women’s Sports – Mail Bulletin

ROCHESTER. Although Kendall Hanley now calls the US hockey capital home, growing up as a hockey-obsessed child in a non-hockey country has meant delaying her entry into the sport that has become her life.

In her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, Hanley began playing street hockey with other neighborhood kids—with trash cans and tennis balls. Football, softball and volleyball filled her days until, at the age of 12, Hanley was allowed to play hockey.

She took sports seriously enough to enroll at Williston Northampton School, a prestigious preparatory high school in western Massachusetts. Hanley then transitioned to college hockey, playing at Elmira College and the State University of New York at Oswego, both in New York City.

With a degree in zoology on paper, her hockey career seemed to be over. But something pulled her.

Hanley loves hockey and she didn’t want to give it up.

In the spring of 2009 in Dallas, Texas, she participated in a hockey game. There, during a conversation with another player on the bench, the way was opened for the rest of his life.

The woman she started the conversation with was a hockey official.

What Hanley feared most at the end of her playing days was the locker room and camaraderie with her teammates.

“I just sat there trying to figure out what I was going to do because it was all going away,” she said. missing.’ And it was a new challenge.”

Kendall Hanley

Hanley (right) poses with other officials at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Added / Kendall Hanley

This is how Hanley’s life turned 180 degrees. She started working at lower levels and worked her way up. Hanley officiated the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and has officiated games at various hockey levels including the American Hockey League (AHL) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

The Minneapolis resident is now the North American Hockey League (NAHL) Officiating Manager and the North American Hockey League Prospects (NAPHL) Officials Director. Now her job is to help the younger generation grow after her.

Hanley is not alone in her love of the sport. Minnesota Hockey, the USA Hockey affiliate, reports that Minnesota leads the nation with 14,223 female players. Among this group are about 4,000 high school students and 185 adapted hockey players.

Women’s hockey is not the only sport gaining popularity. The rise of professional women’s basketball and soccer, and new professional women’s leagues, continues to hit the glass ceiling that used to hang – and in many ways still hangs – over women’s sports.

This growth did not happen overnight. According to Sarah Fuller, who

told espnw video

to referee Sarah Thomas officiating the 2021 Super Bowl: “This is how it works. Pioneers reach. And these days, wherever girls look, they see what could be. They see progress. They see history. Barriers are broken, ceilings are shattered. And they see that what was once only imaginary is becoming real.”

Fifty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX along with the 1972 Education Amendments. While it paid lip service to women’s ability to compete in collegiate athletics, other barriers have long slowed the growth of women’s sports, namely institutions unwilling to compete. change.

Take women’s college basketball. The 2022 tournament – the 40th NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament – was the first ever March Madness brand that the men’s tournament has used since 1939.

“It’s equality,” said Carol Steiff, a former ESPN executive and a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

said Sportico

, a sports content business company. “He just looks prestige and bigger.”

On May 18, 2022, the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams signed historic collective bargaining agreements that, among other important provisions, ensure players on both teams receive equal pay and share equally in prize money won at events such as the World Cup. .

Football Hall of Famer Abby Wambach


following a statement by the US Football Federation and national teams: “The love and joy of these women and all who made this historic day possible is boundless. Even this optimist gave me hope that what we do matters.”

It does.

Through such investments, young girls see that equality and justice are possible. They see the landscape of sport changing and expanding, including the very things that were made available by Title IX 50 years ago.

Sarah Fuller was one of many recent players who – perhaps unintentionally – became a role model and a mainstay of fairness in women’s sports. The soccer player made history on November 28, 2020 when she started the second half of a Vanderbilt University soccer game by becoming the first woman to play in a Southeastern Conference and Power 5 soccer game. Two weeks later, Fuller became the first woman to score in a Power 5 game since , both scored a field goal against the University of Tennessee.

Fuller traded the football field for a net and caught everyone’s attention this Thanksgiving weekend, as well as attracting the attention of young girls who saw in Fuller what they could become.

“The fact that I can represent little girls who want to do it or who have thought about playing football or any other sport. It encourages them to step up and do something big,” Fuller told ESPN after her first game. “I just want to tell all the girls that you can do whatever you want.”

Now Fuller is making history again in Minnesota, this time with the new Minnesota Aurora FC. This is the first season of the W League and was officially announced on June 8, 2021 after club owners USL showed interest in investing in women’s football in 2019.

Sarah Fuller

Fuller at Aurora Football Club’s first practice at TCO Stadium in Egan, Minnesota on May 9, 2022.

Courtesy / Brenna Keeler

Fuller told reporters after the team’s first practice session on May 9, 2022, that the work the USL has done to prepare and invest in women’s football is vital to the development of the game.

“It’s incredible. I think this team and what they do and the stadium and everything they’ve built is second to none even compared to some of the NWSL teams. I think that says a lot,” she said. We set the standard for women’s sports and women’s football and I just think that’s very important.”

Nicole Lukic, Aurora’s head coach, also said the new league has the potential to change football.

“I hope this changes the female amateur landscape,” she said. “They seem to have a lot of resources and put a lot of energy into the league.”

In many sports, investments are not only necessary, but also needed by players, coaches and fans. The WNBA has led women’s professional sports in many ways, but especially when it comes to supporting women’s sports. Nicole LaVoye, director of the Tucker Center at the University of Minnesota, believes the league has “provided a blueprint for what works for women’s sports” and the WNBA – leaders and players alike – has the ability to continue to push for fairness in sports. .

“I think the collective bargaining agreement that the WNBA has with its players is also a good indication that the league truly values ​​and supports its female athletes,” LaVoy said.

Change and growth are not limited to major metropolitan areas or professional sports. In September, the Minnesota chapter of the American Legion green-lit a summer softball league much like the popular baseball program.

American Legion Softball will begin in the summer of 2022 and will feature 25 teams. The first state tournament will take place on July 30 and 31, 2022 in Mankato, Minnesota.

In May 2022, the Minnesota Vikings announced a partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools to launch a new girls’ football program. In a press release announcing the partnership, the Vikings said they hope to “expand the initiative to schools across the state in the coming years” and that financial support programs will help schools introduce additional programs.

“Vikings is committed to creating enriching and inclusive sports opportunities throughout Minnesota,” the statement said. “The future expansion of women’s high school football into college sports in Minnesota is a long-term goal that lives up to that commitment.”

Despite the growth and moves towards fairness that have taken place in women’s sports in recent years, there are still inequalities that need to be addressed.

According to a report compiled by the Women’s Athletic Foundation, which was founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, high school girls have 3.4 million opportunities to participate, 1 million fewer opportunities compared to high school boys. Only 14% of all college athletes are black, indigenous, and women of color, compared to 30% of all athletes who are white women.

In the 2020-2021 school year, 41% of NCAA women’s teams had a female head coach. In 1971, 90% of women’s teams were coached by women. Only 7% of women’s sports head coaches are Black, Native and Colored. White women make up the other 34% of women’s sports head coaches.

The Postal Bulletin publishes a three-part series on Title IX at 50. In part three, we will delve into the shortage of female coaches in women’s sports, racing, and gender under Title IX, as well as national conversations about the application of Title IX. For example, the participation of transgender athletes.

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