Marshfield Athletics History: Girls in Sports
By Kris Leonhardt
In recognition of the groundbreaking for the new Marshfield athletic facilities, we are including our final segment of our series on the Marshfield athletics program.
Development of organized sports occurred gradually, but by 1929 McKinley High School had established competitive boys football, basketball, and track teams.
Girls sports developed a little slower, starting out as clubs; however, growing enrollment and increased interest in sports participation created a need, with girls basketball one of the most desired activities.
However, girls did not participate in high sports in large numbers until the passing of Title IX in Education Amendments Act of 1972.
The law states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Title IX requires that women and men be provided the same opportunities to participate in sports, but does not require schools to offer the same sports – just an equal opportunity to play.
Before Title IX, it is estimated that one in 27 girls played sports. Now, that number is closer to two out of five.
Since the passing of the law, girls sports offerings have grown throughout the nation. Locally, Marshfield offers a vast array of sports to young women in the community today, ranging from swimming to soccer.
In addition to district support, many of these sports are organized and supported by dedicated community members and coaches, who give of their time, money, and talents to create more opportunities for the youth of today.
Special thanks to the MHS Athletic Department for providing the material for this series. You can still donate to the Marshfield athletics improvement project. For more information on the school district’s athletic facility project, visit www.marshfieldschools.org. To donate, contact the Marshfield Area Community Foundation at 715-384-9029.