Women in Sports over Time

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Today in sports, there is a relatively large percentage of women, whether it is in your local high school, college, or in professional leagues such as the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association). But the large population of women athletes was not a battle easily won. Women athletes have faced discrimination, feminism, and overall sexism in every sport, even today. Through laws, morals, and some tough workouts, women have proved themselves as worthy as men in athletics. Women athletes have had a positive effect on the sports community from the 1800s to present day in high school, college, professional, and Olympic sports programs, and in every country worldwide.

The beginning of any legitimate male or female athletic career begins in college. Female college students were offered school-ran sports by the late eighteenth century. There was a particular “surge of interest in basketball, volleyball, and the British game of field hockey” in colleges such as Stanford University, and the University of California. These two colleges participated in the first college-level women’s basketball game (an alternate “women’s” version created by Senda Berenson) on April 4, 1896. The game hosted approximately 500 female fans and Stanford won 2-1 (Macy 22-29). College sports became more organized in 1917 when the Physical Education Association (PEA) created the Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA). The CWA created regulated rules for field hockey, track and field, swimming, and soccer (Macy 41). However, women’s sports suffered from attacks of their own physical health and ability to bare children, and their masculinity. When the Women’s Division was formed in 1923, 22% of colleges had women’s Varsity athletics. By 1930, the percentage dropped to a mere 12% (Macy 53). In the 1950s, colleges were using a mere $18,000 dollars for women’s sport’s funding. They used tax dollars illegally to discriminate against female athletes. Many cases were taken to court. Judge Genevieve...
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