FABB HISTORY OF WOMEN IN SPORTS TIMELINE
World War II saw the advent of the first woman’s professional athletic team. The All-American Girls Baseball League was started in 1943 as an attempt to replace Major League Baseball, which had been canceled due to the war. When World War II ended, organizations for women in sport began to increase as sport became more competitive and intercollegiate and interscholastic competition spread.
In 1950 the Ladies Professional Golf Association, LPGA, was formed by a group of 13 prominent female golfers including; Patty Berg whose 15 Major titles remains the all-time record for the most wins by a female golfer.
Helen Hicks-Berg won several major tournaments and became the first female golfer to have her own golf clubs by Wilson Sporting Goods.
Babe Zaharias who won a total of 82 amateur and professional golf tournaments.
By 1959, having won 11 Grand Slam Singles and Doubles Championships Althea Gibson was also able to break the color barrier in international tennis. She was able to win 56 national and international singles and doubles titles. By 1959 she also became the first African American to be voted by the Associated Press as its Female Athlete of the Year, an award she received in !957 and 1958.
Title IX Law
Title IX of the education amendments of 1972 is enacted into law. Title IX prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against students or employees based on sex. As a result of Title IX, any school that receives any federal money from the elementary to university level–in short, nearly all schools–must provide fair and equal treatment of the sexes in all areas, including athletics.
Track & Field
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is recognized as one of the greatest all-time track and field competitors. She dominated in 1988 and won gold in both the heptathlon and the long jump. Known as much for her record-setting performances on the track as for her flashy style, “Flo-Jo” is considered to be the fastest woman of all time. She won a silver medal in the 4x400-relay, but was all golden from there on out, winning gold medals in the 4x100, 100 and 200 in 1988.
On the heels of a much-publicized gold medal run by the 1996 USA Basketball Women's National Team at the Summer Olympic Games, the WNBA began its first season on June 21, 1997. The first WNBA game featured the New York Liberty facing the Los Angeles Sparks in Los Angeles. The WNBA centered its marketing campaign, dubbed "We Got Next", around stars Rebecca Lobo, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes.
The 1998 Olympic women's ice hockey tournament was the first year that featured women in ice hockey competition. It was greatly anticipated that the women's gold medal match would feature Canada versus the United States. After the anticipated match proved to be correct, the United States beat Canada in the final and became the first country to win gold in women's ice hockey at the Winter Olympic Games.
The final of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup match represented one of the most important events in the history of American athletics. It was played before over 90,000 fans in what remains the largest crowd ever to watch a women's sporting event. The well-known image of Brandi Chastain celebrating the winning spot kick that was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated became one of the defining images of women's team athletics in the United States.
This last decade has seen a surge of victories for court and beach volleyball. With the development of junior and amateur volleyball the USA has been able to make a strong presence in receiving olympic medals. Since 2008 the women's usa court team has medaled 4 times and the beach team has medaled three times.
The age of the Women's Professional Lacrosse League can currently be measured in months since its formation in June of 2018 when the WPLL launched with its first game. The first game in league history resulted in the New England Command defeating the New York Fight by a score of 13-10. The WPLL adds to the growing resume of women's professional sports leagues.
Women are continuing to push the envelope in evolving their game and their sport. Pioneer athletes have blazed the trail for females to be student athletes and pro athletes. The way we train prepares us for competition in a way that past athletes may not have experienced. Female athletes are tough mentally and physically. We give birth and raise families and still make time to train our bodies and dominate our competition.
What HERstory will you make.....