RESTRICTED PUBLIC ACCESS TO OSPI BUILDING

In accordance with the Governor’s Proclamation 20-25, “Stay Home, Stay Healthy,” and to protect the health and safety of Washingtonians and our employees, at this time, there is restricted public access to the OSPI building. OSPI will continue serving the public via phone, email, and the website.

See OSPI’s COVID-19 guidance and resources for educators, students, and families.

  • Facebook
  • OSPI on Twitter
  • OSPI Medium
  • OSPI LinkedIn
  • OSPI YouTube
  • OSPI on Flickr
  • Subscribe to OSPI GovDelivery

You are here

Home » Policy & Funding » Equity and Civil Rights » Resources for School Districts » Sex Equity in Athletics

Sex Equity in Athletics

Looking for information for families?

Under state and federal law, the overall benefits and treatment of athletic programs for girls and boys must be equitable. All interscholastic, club, or intramural athletics operated, sponsored, or provided by the school district must provide similar benefits, opportunities, and treatment to female and male students.

Annual Athletic Evaluations

School districts must evaluate their athletic programs at least once every year to make sure equal opportunities are available to male and female students in each school’s interscholastic, club, and intramural athletic program. When evaluating athletic programs, districts compare these components in the athletic programs for girls and boys at each school:

  • Student athletic interests and abilities
  • Scheduling of games and practices
  • Equipment, uniforms, and supplies
  • Facilities
  • Coaching
  • Publicity and Awards
  • Medical services and training
  • Travel and per diem
  • Housing, laundry, and dining facilities and services

Team, Building, & District Worksheet Samples

These team, building, and district worksheets cover all the elements — in three steps — required by the annual evaluation. If your district develops its own evaluation forms, make sure you collect all the evaluation data documented in these OSPI worksheets.

Step 1Team-level evaluation. Coaches for each team evaluate their team's opportunities in all categories.

Team Worksheet 

Step 2Building-level analysis. At each building, compile the self-evaluation data reported by each team to analyze equity in opportunities and treatment in girls' and boys' athletic programs at the building level.

Building Worksheet

Step 3District-level analysis. Compile the self-evaluation data reported by each building to analyze equity in opportunities and treatment in girls' and boys' athletic programs districtwide.

District Worksheet

Ensuring Equitable Athletic Opportunities 

The Three-Part Test

Schools must make sure their athletic programs accommodate the interests and abilities of both sexes, considering the results of the athletic interest survey. The Three-Part Test determines if a school is equally meeting the interests and abilities of male and female students.

Student Athletic Interest Survey

School districts must administer a student survey at least once every three years. This survey helps schools determine student interest in specific sports so they can plan which sports to offer to equally meet the interests of male and female students.

Note: OSPI revised the Student Athletic Interest Survey in August 2018. Please use the new and revised resources below.

Survey Instructions (Includes instructions for administering the survey and analyzing the results, information about the Three-Part Test, and frequently asked questions)

English | Arabic | Chinese | Korean | Punjabi | Russian | Somali | Spanish | Tagalog | Ukrainian | Vietnamese

School districts must use the survey questions developed by OSPI. With OSPI approval, however, schools may modify the contents of the survey if necessary to clarify and assist in evaluating student interest.

Schools do not need OSPI approval to make formatting changes, add questions, or adapt the survey for Scantron or online application. For example, if regional competition exists for sports not listed on the OSPI survey, a school may add those sports to the survey without OSPI approval to help determine student interest. Some schools also find it helpful to add additional demographic questions—such as race and ethnicity—to better understand students’ athletic interests and any perceived barriers to participation.

Adapting the Survey for Online Use

Disaggregate the survey results by sex and by building to determine the top sports requested and the top reasons for non-participation

Student Athletic Survey: Results Summary Worksheet  (Revised in August 2018)

Plan next steps. Consider the results of the survey when evaluating the athletic programs and to make sure the district meets the Three-Part Test.

If the top sports requested by the underrepresented sex are not currently offered, plan next steps - such as following up with students about their interest, researching the feasibility of the sport and available competition, and assessing if there are enough interested students in a new sport or squad to sustain a team.

Outside Funding Sources 

Booster Clubs, Fundraising, & Donations

Outside sources of funding and donations are acceptable, so long as they do not result in disparities between the male and female athletic programs. If a donation results in an inequity along gender lines, the school must correct the inequity, using its own funds if needed. Budgets for boys’ and girls’ teams do not have to be equal, but the opportunities, benefits, and treatment provided must be equal in effect.

A donor or booster club may be adamant that donations go to a particular team. However, a school must understand that by accepting a particular donation, schools are obligated to ensure that it does not result in a disparity. Making sure that donors and booster clubs are aware of this obligation is key, and might involve taking proactive steps such as:

  • Developing and distributing policies and procedures for athletic fundraising and fundraisers.
  • Developing and distributing procedures and forms to request and report donations. This allows for better school and district oversight and avoids donations going directly to individual coaches or teams.
  • Establishing an inclusive, school-wide sports booster club policy and procedure, e.g., all donations go into one fund, with the athletic director in control of any distributions from there.
  • Establishing a booster club advisory committee comprised of booster club members, parents, coaches, and athletic director(s) to encourage communication and collaboration.
  • Developing a consistent system for tracking booster club donations.
  • Providing ongoing training for all coaching staff in the areas of equal opportunity in fundraising and donations, as well as in federal and state nondiscrimination laws.

Resources

Federal Policy & Guidance