We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark law supporting female participation in education-based programs. The passage of Title IX led to a movement here in Tennessee, where now more than 51,000 female athletes compete annually in 10 sanctioned TSSAA and TMSAA sports. During the last school year, 43 girls’ teams and 269 female individuals claimed state championships in these 10 girls’ sports. Yet on June 23, 1972, when the law was passed, there were only two sanctioned TSSAA girls’ sports with state championships: basketball and tennis. Almost immediately, the TSSAA Board of Control and Legislative Council began rapidly expanding access to girls’ sports by sanctioning and subsequently adding state championships in the following: track & field (1974), golf (1975), cross country (1975), volleyball (1976), softball (1979), soccer (1986), bowling (2002), wrestling (2015), and most recently, dual wrestling (2022).

During our state championships this school year, TSSAA would like to honor the women who played and coached for the first-ever state championships in their sport. We need the membership’s help in locating these teams and individuals. If you represent one of the schools that won, or if you have contact with someone from one of these teams, we would encourage you to let us know by emailing titleix@tssaa.org or asking those individuals to complete this form. We aim to collect photos and stories from these first girls’ championships to share with the student-athletes competing for championships today. We would also like to invite these first female champions to their sport’s state championship this school year. We appreciate your help in this undertaking and look forward to honoring these true TSSAA Trailblazers during our 2022-2023 state championships.

List of First TSSAA Girls' State Champions

First TSSAA Girls' State Champions Contact Form

Because the opportunities for today’s athletes were built on the perseverance of those who came before, the TSSAA is looking to its member schools to help us identify the important Title IX figures in your own communities. We ask that if there is someone from your area that we need to know about, please complete the submission form at the link below. We are looking for female leaders from both past and present - women who were trailblazers before Title IX and during its passage in 1972, and those that helped expand opportunities for female athletes since, particularly for middle and high school girls. These could include athletes, teams, coaches, officials, or administrators. If you have any questions or ideas about this endeavor, please let us know in the comment box on the submission form. We look forward to learning more about some of the incredible female leaders who have had an impact on our member schools!

Feel free to share the submission link with anyone in your school community that may have a special interest in or information to share for this project.

Title IX Trailblazer Submission Form