1973 November 7

New Jersey Civil Rights Division Rules Little League Must Admit Girls


Maria Pepe just wanted to play Little League baseball, but officials running the Little League refused because she was a girl. Her family appealed and the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights ruled on this day that the Little League must admit girls. The ruling was later upheld by the New Jersey Superior Court. In 1974, the Little League created Little League Softball for girls. Thirty thousand girls signed up that first year.

Women’s participation in athletics received it greatest boost with Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments (June 23, 1972), which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex by any educational institution receiving federal funds. As a result, most colleges and universities began creating new women’s sports teams (to roughly match the number of men’s teams), and increasing the number and value of athletic scholarships for women athletes.

Because most of the attention over Title IX has focused on athletics, many people mistakenly believe that it applies only to that area. It does not. It applies to all aspects of education: chemistry, philosophy, music, etc.

Learn more about Little League softball and baseball today: http://www.littleleague.org/media/softball.htm 

Read: Deborah Brake, Getting in the Game: Title IX and the Women’s Sports Revolution (2010)

Learn more about Title IX: http://www.titleix.info/

Watch highlights of the 2005 Little League Softball World Series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAs-PhrRXis

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