Tara here! I grew up playing basketball, soccer, and softball. In high school, I ran track. All that time, and even to this day, I have no clue if the schools I attended provided equitable athletics opportunities for girls and boys, or if they broke the law by discriminating against female student athletes.
What I do know now, though, is that Pennsylvania schools have a long, sad record of discriminating against female athletes. And for a long time—decades—there was no way for a concerned parent, coach, student or community member to find out about it.
This year, we changed the game.
FAIR:PLAY is our new website that enables anyone to quickly and easily check if any given public secondary school in Pennsylvania may be discriminating against female athletes.
Type the name of any public Pennsylvania high school, junior high, or middle school into the search bar, and you will be shown the Title IX gap. The Title IX gap is calculated by subtracting the percent of school-sponsored athletic opportunities filled by female athletes from the percent of female students. For comparison’s sake, the results will also display the statewide Title IX gap (which is 6.53%) and the relevant countywide Title IX gap. A double-digit Title IX gap strongly suggests that the school’s athletic program is not in compliance with Title IX. You will also be able to tell if a particular school failed to submit data at all.
FAIR:PLAY builds on our many years of work fighting discrimination against female student athletes. When schools didn’t report their data, we advocated for the 2012 law that mandates reports. When reports were submitted in a way that made the data useless, we hosted a hackathon, where female coders developed FAIR:PLAY.
When necessary, we litigate. We currently represent eight Lock Haven University athletes in a class-action lawsuit challenging the university’s failure to provide equitable athletic opportunities and benefits for female students.
This holiday, as you enjoy the big game, consider helping us support female athletes.
Also! Please register today to attend our annual gala in Philadelphia on Friday, December 1, and consider honoring a woman or girl in your life who has persisted, or has inspired you to persist, despite challenges and obstacles.
I plan to honor by friend Wendy, who recently persisted through a serious health challenge with inspiring positivity and resolve.
Have a great holiday!
The Women’s Law Project is a public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.
We are a non-profit organization. Please consider supporting equal rights for women and girls by making a one-time donation or scheduling a monthly contribution.
A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.