Ensuring Gender Equality in Athletics for Girls in School and Parks and Recreation Programs
FAIR PLAY'S MISSION
Ensure all girls - regardless of race, income, and geography - receive equal opportunities, treatment, and benefits in athletics offered by schools and parks and recreation programs.
Give Presentations, Workshops & Trainings for:
Parents and Families
Parks and Recreation Departments
Youth Advocates, Mentors & Teachers
Assess schools and parks and recreation departments to help them implement Title IX and AB 2404 (Fair Play and Common Sports Act) and ensure equality.
Represent clients in court to enforce the law where girls lack equal opportunities.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
What is Title IX?
Title IX, a federal law passed in 1972, gives female students the right to participate equally in sports in public schools, including elementary, middle and high schools, and in colleges and universities that accept any federal funds.
What is AB 2404
(The Fair Play Act) ?
AB 2404 (The Fair Play Act), a California law passed in 2004, requires gender equity in local youth athletics, such as sports programs run or hosted by your parks and recreation department. The law is much like title IX in calling for equal athletic opportunities, facilities, publicity and more.
DID YOU KNOW
Prior to Title IX, fewer than 300,000 girls competed in high school sports; now there are over 3 million.
California was the first state to pass gender equity legislation for parks and recreation athletics.
Overall, young women who play sports have higher grades and score higher on standardized tests than non-athletes.
African American female athletes are 15% more likely to graduate from college compared to their non-athletic peers; Latina females who play sports are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college than those not playing.
Females who had the highest physical activity during adolescence and young adulthood were 20% less likely to get breast cancer later in life.
Women and girls who participate in regular exercise experience lower rates of depression.
Girls who play sports in high school go on to earn 7% higher annual wages than their non-athlete peers.
Title IX directly increased women’s participation in the labor force, while opening paths to higher-skill, previously male-dominated positions.
Information about Title IX and other laws that provide for equal access to sports facilities and programs.
Title IX Participation Gap Calculator
A school has to make sure girls have equal opportunity to play sports—which means actual athletes playing on various teams. Spots available for girls on competitive school sports teams have to be “proportionate” to the number of girls in the school. So, in a school where 50% of the students are girls and 50% of the students are boys, 50% of all athletes participating on sports teams must be girls. But, in a school where 60% of the students are girls and 40% of the students are boys, 60% of all athletes participating on sports teams must be girls.
Example: School X has 1,000 students, and 500 of the students are girls, and 500 of the students are boys. If there are 200 athletes playing sports, then that means that there have to be 100 female athletes and 100 male athletes—an even 50%.
If a school cannot show proportionality, it must show a history and continuing practice of growing athletic opportunities for girls and/or that girls do not wish to play in greater numbers (yet they usually do!). Note: If you want to play on a team that is not offered at your school (at an additional level of an existing sport like junior varsity, or in a brand new sport), ask your school to add the sport! If you are lacking opportunities, contact Fair Play.
UNDERSTAND FAIR PLAY
“Playing softball has helped me in school. If I didn’t play sports, I’m not sure that I would have the drive to stay in school and pursue a career. Playing softball helps me to set my priorities regarding my grades, not only for myself but for my team.”
- Veronica Ollier,
California High School
Senior Staff Attorney
Kim works with the Fair Play for Girls in Sports Project. Through litigation, education and policy work, Kim advocates for equality, with a specific focus on athletic opportunities for female youth — particularly in low-income communities.
Fair Play for Girls in Sports is a project of Legal Aid at Work, which protects and expand the rights of low-wage workers, their families, and communities by educating about legal rights, providing legal representation, and advocating for more responsive laws. For more information, please visit www.legalaidatwork.org
180 Montgomery Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94104
Toll-Free Phone #: 877-593-0074
Project Director & Senior Staff Attorney
Elizabeth Kristen is a director of our Fair Play for Girls in Sports project, she engages in community education, negotiations, litigation, and policy work on behalf of female students who have not been afforded equal athletic opportunities under Title IX. She won a ground breaking Ninth Circuit ruling, with her co-counsel, that enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments in a Southern California high school (Ollier v. Sweetwater).