Ncaa emerging sports for women
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NCAA Emerging Sports for Women. Equestrian (Divisions I & II) Rugby Sand Volleyball (Divisions I & II) Squash . Agenda . Understanding the Emerging Sports Program History Process Current Status The Future. History.

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Ncaa emerging sports for women

NCAA Emerging Sports for Women

Equestrian (Divisions I & II)


Sand Volleyball (Divisions I & II)



  • Understanding the Emerging Sports Program

    • History

    • Process

  • Current Status

  • The Future


1991:  NCAA survey -- undergraduate enrollment is about even (50/50), but male student-athletes receive:

  • 70% of opportunities,

  • 70% of financial aid,

  • 77% operating budgets, and

  • 83%of recruiting funds

    1992:  NCAA Gender-Equity Task Force established.

    1993:  Gender-Equity Task Force Report - 9 "emerging” sports – Archery, Badminton, Bowling, Ice Hockey, Rowing, Synchronized Swimming, Squash, Team Handball, Water Polo.

    1996:  A National Collegiate Championship for women's Rowing.

    1998: Divisions I & II add Equestrian.

    2000-01: Women’s Ice Hockey & Water Polo become national collegiate championships.

    2002-03: Rugby is added in all three divisions.

    2004: Women’s Bowling becomes a national collegiate championship.

    2009: Women’s Archery (1), Badminton (2), Synchronized Swimming (8) and Team Handball (0) removed from the list for lack of growth.

    2010: Sand Volleyball added to the list of emerging sports for women in Division I and II.


  • Self-identification and motivation by schools, national governing bodies and participants to promote the sport as varsity

  • Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) manages the initial proposal process [association-wide committee; no legislative authority]

  • All three divisions manage the Legislative proposal process

Criteria for the proposal
Criteria for the Proposal

  • Meets the Definition of a Sport

  • 20 or more varsity teams and/or competitive club teams that currently exist on college campuses.

  • Other data exists that demonstrates support for the sport. For example:

    • Collegiate recreation and intramural sponsorship.

    • High-school sport sponsorship.

    • Nonscholastic competitive programs.

    • Association and organization support.

    • U.S. Olympic Committee support (E.g., classified as an Olympic sport, National Governing Body support, grants).

    • Conference interest in sports sponsorship.

    • Coaches Association support.

    • Professional sports support.

  • Demonstrated understanding that once identified as an emerging sport, all NCAA institutions wishing to sponsor the sport at the varsity level must abide by all NCAA regulations.

    • Proposals must include information on

      • General competition rules,

      • Suggested NCAA regulations (e.g., playing and practice season, financial aid limits, coaching limits, recruiting) and

      • Format for the sport (e.g., expected facility requirements and costs, minimum and maximum competitions).

      • Related, supportive data - e.g., participation #’s for young women

    • However, if a sport is voted onto the list, each division develops the sport’s regulations and competitive rules:

      • Year One - Recruiting, financial aid & minimum contest/participants requirements for sports sponsorships

      • Year Two - Amateurism, seasons of competition & awards/benefits

      • Year Three+ - Institutions must be in full compliance with all remaining NCAA legislation. 

    Commitment letters
    Commitment Letters

    • In addition to the proposal, 10 letters of commitment must be submitted.  The letters must be

      • from at least 10 NCAA members that sponsor or intend to sponsor the sport as a varsity sport, and

      • include the signatures of the university president and the athletics director. 

    • Additionally, the letters must be dated within one year of the submission of the proposal and letters.

    On the web
    On the Web…

    Home►About The NCAA►Diversity and Inclusion►Gender Equity and Title IX

    Current sponsorship
    Current Sponsorship

    Ten Years to Reach 40…or steady progress

    Action plans
    Action Plans

    • Squash – Original Emerging Sport list – 15 yrs

      • 28 programs, predominately in 2 conferences

      • $50,000 grant from US Squash

    • Equestrian – 1999

      • 23 Division I & II programs


    Off ramp
    Off Ramp…

    • Removal from the list – Requires sponsorship of a proposal and vote by the divisional membership

    On Ramp…

    • To get back on

      • Wait 12 months after removal

      • Submit the required proposal and 15 commitment letters to CWA

    Who is next

    Who is Next…


    Competitive Cheer

    Table Tennis