Play Fair, Play IX: 32 Years of NGWSD

On February 7th, we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of National Girls & Women in Sports Day, a national observance celebrating the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports. The theme this year is Play Fair, Play IX - which celebrates the extraordinary impact that Title IX has made for girls and young women since its inception in 1972.

Despite the legislation’s impact, today girls are still participating in sports at a lower level than boys and fewer women are coaching women’s sports than when Title IX was enacted.


Photo courtesy of Metro Lacrosse

Photo courtesy of Metro Lacrosse

Did you know?

  • Only 27 percent of the more than 6.5 million adults who coach youth teams up to age 14 are women. 1

  • Only 43% of women’s intercollegiate teams are led by female coaches. 2

  • 59% of girls grades 3-5 in urban communities are involved in sports compared to 80% of boys. 3

  • Only 43.4% of coaches of women’s intercollegiate teams and 2% of men’s inter-collegiate teams were female. In 1972, more than 90% of women’s teams were coached by women. 4

  • While the opportunities for girls to participate in sports have increased since the passage of Title IX, girls of color still lack opportunities. In fact, youth sports are racially diverse, but girls of color are much more likely than their male counterparts to be non-athletes. 5

Research demonstrates that girls who play sports have better health, higher self-esteem, stronger leadership skills, greater academic achievement and economic opportunity. We also know that girls drop out of sports at a higher rate than boys and that girls’ participation is strongly correlated with female role models. With that in mind, Up2Us Sports launched an initiative called She Can CoachSM, which is focused on the importance of growing opportunities for women to coach and ensuring young girls in vulnerable communities have great female role models in their lives.

We are proud that nearly 40% of our coaches are women and nearly 50% of the youth we serve are girls. Additionally, 83% of the youth our coaches serve are African-American or Hispanic. Every year, we work to create more opportunities for young women to coach as well as help more young girls reach their potential by having a coach trained in positive youth development.

Read more about NGWSD here, including the stories of athletes, coaches and advocates who are impacted by Title IX and working together toward its promise of equal opportunity in sports.

Up2Us Sports is proud to support the NGWSD Coalition, comprised of the Women’s Sports Foundation, National Women’s Law Center, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women’s Health and Girls, Inc.