She has
the right
to play.

Title IX Compliance

More than 50 years have passed since Title IX’s implementation and yet many schools are not in compliance and many people don’t fully understand their rights under the law. Learn more about the Title IX’s requirements for equitable participation opportunities, scholarships and benefits.

The Women’s Sports Foundation’s Response to California AB 252

American Football Stadium Full of Spectators

AB 252 Overview 

The College Athlete Protection Act (California AB 252), sponsored by California Assemblymember Chris Holden, was introduced in January 2023. In its current state, AB 252 establishes a revenue sharing model that, due to its proposed regulations, would potentially pose a threat to gender equity, Title IX compliance, and broad-based sports offerings while also creating possible unintended consequences to women’s sports.  

With concerns about the potential consequences of the bill, both intended and unintended, WSF has taken a number of actions to ensure that implications for gender equity and Title IX compliance are thoroughly considered. 

WSF Actions 

  • July 12 – Vice President of Advocacy, Sarah Axelson, spoke to and was quoted by the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal covered the news of AB 252 being withdrawn until 2024.  
  • June 29Letter sent to the California Senate Education and Judiciary committees expressing our opposition to the bill and its newly added amendments.  
  • May 24 – Condensed letter outlining our concerns sent to the California State Assembly. 

AB 252 passed California Assembly on June 1, and on July 5, just prior to Senate Education and Judiciary Committee hearings, Assemblymember Holden decided to make AB 252 a two-year bill, delaying additional action until 2024. This pause in legislative proceedings does not eliminate the extant threat the bill and others like it would pose to gender equity, Title IX compliance, and broad-based sports offerings.  

WSF will continue to monitor this and other legislation for gender equity, Title IX compliance, broad-based sports offerings and unintended negative consequences to women’s sports. 

Opponents to AB-252  

The California Legislature received opposition to AB 252 from WSF and the following parties: 

Academic Senate of The California State University 

Association of Independent California Colleges & Universities  

Big Sky Conference  

California State University, Office of the Chancellor 

Community College League of California 

Stanford University  

Team USA Athletes’ Commission  

U.S. Ski & Snowboard  

United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee  

University of California  

University of Southern California  

USA Artistic Swimming  

USA Swimming  

USA Swimming Athletes’ Advisory Council  

USA Track & Field  

USA Volleyball  

USA Water Polo  

USA Wrestling 

Title IX Consulting

Women in rowing boathouse

Title IX consultants should always be used in conjunction with a comprehensive Title IX self-assessment by the educational institution. Title IX regulations are extremely broad and complex and individual athletic program practices too varied for any consultant to have a grasp of all athletic program practices in a school without the assistance of a comprehensive self-assessment.

Title IX Consulting (pdf)

Cheerleading, Drill Team, Danceline and Band As Varsity Sports

It has come to our attention that there are athletic governance associations, schools and colleges who are attempting to recognize drill team, cheerleading, danceline, marching bands, twirling and similar extracurricular activities as bona fide sports and varsity athletic program offerings in order to comply with Title IX. The purpose of this position paper is to comment on the use of an appropriate definition of varsity sport and the conditions under which physical activities should be considered sports for the purpose of compliance with Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments Act.

Cheerleading Drill Team and Band as Varsity Sports(pdf)

Male Practice Players on Female Teams

The regular use of male practice players may take practice and participation opportunities away from female athletes on varsity teams. Did you know that the regular use of male practice players may be a Title IX violation?

Male Practice Players on Female Teams: The Foundation Position (pdf)

Girls and Boys Competing With and Against Each Other in Sports and Physical Activity Settings

When is it appropriate or necessary that females and males participate with and against each other in sports? When are single-sex teams necessary or appropriate? On what basis can schools restrict participation? Find out the answers to these questions and more when we explain co-ed participation in physical activity settings.

Girls and Boys Competing With and Against Each Other in Sports and Physical Activity Settings (pdf)

Dropping Men’s Sports – Expanding Opportunities for Girls and Women in Sport without Eliminating Men’s Sports

The Women’s Sports Foundation is often asked whether it has a position on the elimination of sports opportunities for men as a method of complying with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs or activities at schools and colleges that receive federal funds. This question usually stems from situations in which schools cite insufficient finances to add more sports opportunities for women, cut a men’s non-revenue sport and use these funds to start a new women’s team. When alumni and students complain about the decision, the institution blames the law (Title IX requires no such reduction in opportunities for men) and female athletes. The Foundation is not in favor of reducing athletic opportunities for men as the preferred method of achieving Title IX compliance.

Dropping Men's Sports - Expanding Opportunities for Girls and Women in Sport without Eliminating Men's Sports (pdf)

Competition Seasons – Girls’ Sports in ‘Non-Traditional’ Seasons: The Foundation Position

Did you know that some athletic associations are regulating when girls have their sports seasons? The disadvantages that come with this practice are not just wrong, they’re against the law. Requiring female student-athletes to participate in sports during seasons which are different than traditional seasons discriminates against these female athletes and takes away from their athletic opportunities and experiences.

Competition Seasons - Girls' Sports in 'Non-Traditional' Seasons: The Foundation Position