Youth Participation

50 Years of Title IX: We’re Not Done Yet

This report is grounded in the rich history of Title IX and takes a multi-dimensional look at its impact. The report is based on a rigorous literature review and original research using publicly available data sets. The focus is primarily on the enforcement of Title IX in athletics and the three major areas that should be reviewed in ongoing and regular Title IX audits: athletic participation opportunities, allocation of athletic scholarship funding, and allocation of resources in operational areas. The report examines Title IX through the lens of intersectionality, explores emerging issues, and looks ahead to what is needed to accelerate the pace of change for the next 50 years.

50 Years of Title IX: We’re Not Done Yet Executive Summary

Title IX Fast Facts

50 Years of Title IX: We're Not Done Yet

Communities at the Forefront

In October 2014, the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), and espnW co-founded “Sports 4 Life”, a national grant program to increase participation and retention of African American and Hispanic girls in sports, especially in under-resourced communities. These grants are intended to help small and mid-size organizations in all 50 states create or expand sustainable developmental sports programming for girls in middle and high school, as well as provide high-quality sports programming to foster strong recruitment and retention of African American and Hispanic girls. The program also seeks to create leadership opportunities and increase public awareness to address disparities in girls’ access to sports.

This report presents findings from data collected over the last five years from the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sports 4 Life grantees. The Sports 4 Life evaluation team developed several research tools customized to measure strength in the key objectives identified by the national and regional initiatives, and to examine these objectives from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders—the girls who participate, their program leaders, and community stakeholders. These tools, combined with qualitative data drawn from interviews, think tanks that brought together regional partners and the WSF to identify key regional priorities, and open-ended survey questions, provide a robust account of Sports 4 Life’s contributions to the field of positive sports youth development.

Keeping Girls in the Game

Young girls playing tennis

This is one of the first studies of its kind to systematically examine processes influencing youth entry, retention, and dropout from sports.

To accomplish this objective, the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), in partnership with The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, commissioned a national survey about the participation and experiences of youth in sports to identify the most important factors related to youth entrance into sport and those associated with dropping out of sports. The nationally representative survey was administered to 3,041 boys and girls between the ages of 7-17 and their parents/guardians to inquire about child-related, sport-related, and systemic factors expected to influence youth access, experiences and motivations for initial participation (entrance) and sustained/continued participation in organized sport.

Findings from this report provide important insights into the gender, race/ethnicity, and socio-economic disparities found in sports participation and dropout, and identify critical areas to intervene.

Keeping Girls in the Game Executive Summary

Keeping Girls in the Game Report.pdf

Chasing Equity: The Triumphs, Challenges and Opportunities in Sports for Girls and Women

Young girls playing lacrosse

A comprehensive report on the current landscape for girls and women in sport including challenges, barriers, progress and opportunities. Using these findings we developed calls to action that stakeholders and the public can use as a springboard for making change. A national survey of more than 2,300 female leaders in sport provides additional insight on where progress has been made, where things have stalled and what steps can be taken to empower girls and women as participants and as leaders within sport.

The report examines the state of girls’ and women’s sports through a broad lens. Areas of focus include: sport participation opportunities for girls and women; the barriers that limit and/or hinder participation; critical health and safety concerns; Title IX and its ongoing role in supporting the infrastructure for equal access to sport participation; the representation of women working in sport and the climate they encounter, including pay equity and equal treatment issues; the level and quality of sport media coverage of female athletes and the representation of women working in sports media.

Chasing Equity Executive Summary

Chasing Equity Quick Fact Sheet

Chasing Equity Report.pdf

Coaching Through a Gender Lens

A breakthrough study that examines the intersection of girls’ sports development with their “current day” experiences and the impact of coaches, through the voices of girls, their parents, and experts in girls’ development and sports.

In partnership with Nike’s Social & Community Impact division, Coaching through a Gender Lens examines girls’ own personal experiences in sport and the degree to which specific coaching practices/experiences impact their participation, motivation, and retention. The findings also highlight the major cultural, environmental, and policy-based barriers that contribute to the gender gap in sport, and the ways in which youth sports organizations serving girls can successfully meet their needs and foster their continued engagement in sport.

Coaching Through a Gender Lens Executive Summary
Power of Parents Research Brief
Coaching Through a Gender Lens Official Press Release here.
Coaching Through a Gender Lens Key Findings Illustration
Coaching Through a Gender Lens Infographic

Coaching Through a Gender Lens Report .pdf (2mb)

Go Out and Play – Understudied Populations

Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America is a comprehensive research report that covers a range of topics including sports access for children with disabilities. Significant numbers of children from immigrant families are involved with sports and exercise. Their interest is palpable, but for reasons we do not understand, girls lag behind boys in participation.

Go Out and Play - Understudied Populations

Go Out and Play – Gender Equity in Sports

To assist readers who have specific interests, the WSF has created a series of research briefs from Go Out & Play: Youth Sports in America.

Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America is a comprehensive research report that covers a range of topics including gender equity. Today more girls participate in sports than ever before in U.S. history. And yet, equitable access and opportunity in sports remains a goal rather than a reality. Go Out and Play reports parents’ views on the extent of gender equity in youth sports.

Go Out and Play - Gender Equity in Sports

Go Out and Play – Entry Into Sports, Dropping Out of Sports

To assist readers who have specific interests, the WSF has created a series of research briefs from Go Out & Play: Youth Sports in America.

Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America is a comprehensive research report that covers a range of topics including age of entry into sports and drop-out rates. The findings document the existence of a narrower window of opportunity for girls in sport. Girls enter sports at a later age than boys and drop out sooner and in greater numbers. The student survey results show the main reasons girls and boys drop out of sports.

Go Out and Play - Entry Into Sports, Dropping Out of Sports

Go Out and Play – Athletic Participation and Children’s Well-Being

To assist readers who have specific interests, the WSF has created a series of research briefs from Go Out & Play: Youth Sports in America.

Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America is a comprehensive research report that covers a range of topics including how athletic participation impacts children’s health. The report explored a variety of ways that sports involvement intersects with the overall development of girls and boys. Here “health and well-being” are broadly defined to include physical health, emotional health and successful social adaptation in school. The results show that for many U.S. children, athletic participation contributes to general health and body esteem, healthy weight, social relationships, higher quality of life, and educational achievement.

Go Out and Play - Athletic Participation and Children's Well-Being

Go Out and Play

This study measures the nationwide participation rates of girls and boys in exercise and organized team sports. The central focus is on how the intersections among families, schools and communities are related to children’s involvement and interest in athletics and physical activity. Some of the personal and social benefits associated with children’s athletic participation are also identified and discussed. The athletic interests and involvements of girls and boys are examined from childhood through late adolescence, including entry into sport as well as drop-out patterns.

Read the Executive Summary here.

 

To assist readers who have specific interests, the WSF has created a series of Research Briefs from Go Out and Play on the following topics:

Go Out and Play – Athletic Participation and Children’s Well-Being
Go Out and Play – Entry Into Sports, Dropping Out of Sports
Go Out and Play – Gender Equity in Sports
Go Out and Play – Interest in Sports and Physical Activity
Go Out and Play – Participation in Sports and Exercise Activities
Go Out and Play – Participation in Team or Organized Sport
Go Out and Play – Physical Education
Go Out and Play – Sports, Exercise and Family Life
Go Out and Play – Understudied Populations
Go Out and Play – Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
Go Out and Play – Youth Sports in America – Full Report One Pager

Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America