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A revolution started in women's athletics with the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972. The Act required all educational programs and activities to be treated on an equal basis. Now women's athletic programs had to receive the same services and benefits available to men's programs. The growth in the number of opportunities, participation level, and effects has been the subject of a great deal of research and literature since 1972. But what is the story of women's intercollegiate athletics before this revolution? In order to find this story, a phenomenological in-depth study was conducted. Five women were selected by a panel of experts in the field of women's sports and were interviewed about their experiences in intercollegiate athletics, as athletes and as professional physical education teachers, coaches, and administrators. As athletes, there were few opportunities available to them. Many of them mentioned participating in sport days or play days and three of them had extensive involvement in industrial leagues outside of the school system. As physical education teachers, all of them started intramural programs which later evolved into intercollegiate competition. They transported their athletes to games in their own vehicles, the girls bought T-shirts or played in physical education tunics. The teams were under the supervision of the women's physical education department and any funding they received came from student government organizations. For all of the women, their athletes were truly students first and athletes second. Games were played on the weekend to avoid conflict with academics. The highlight for the women involved in the study was the love of the game by their athletes. The young women were willing to do anything to play, practice whenever they could get a facility, play in inadequate facilities, and furnish their own money for uniforms and travel. Their love of the game showed in the growth of women's athletics at every school at which these women were involved. These women and others like them started a growth and desire for intercollegiate competition that led to the revolution created by Title IX.
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