Guest Editor: Dionne Koller, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the Center for Sport and the Law, University of Baltimore School of Law
For decades, the central focus of the law and policy directed to women and sports was Title IX enforcement and securing opportunities for participation. As we approach Title IX’s 50th anniversary, it is clear that the law has greatly expanded participation opportunities for women and powerfully altered the norms around women and sports. Nevertheless, much work remains. Women and girls still do not enjoy the full measure of equality that Title IX guarantees and women’s sport at all levels still does not get the attention, resources, and respect that it should. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this issue.
Yet beyond opportunities for participation, perhaps the greatest legacy of Title IX is that it has dramatically expanded the scope of law and policy issues women now claim in the realm of sports. While important, women and girls no longer simply seek assimilation into a model for sport created by and for men. They seek to inhabit sport as an area in which they can compete, coach, lead, and shape their experiences as full participants. They strive to lay claim to sports as equal partners in the enterprise, not guests to be invited in. It is this next wave of women in sports who undoubtedly will continue the work to break down barriers around equal pay, equal treatment, and equal access. And in this wave, women will go beyond the limits of formal equality. Women will play a key role in updating the social construct that we call sports, to be more inclusive, with an expanded purpose and greater concern for the rights of athletes.
This special issue of the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport aims to explore the many different facets of the issue of women in sport today. This call and the topic are to be read broadly and inclusively, so as to capture the many different voices, issues, and experiences that can and should inform the law and policy directed to sports. We welcome articles that look forward, interrogating settled ideas about the purpose and conduct of sport. We also welcome articles that look back, taking stock of where we have been and how that informs current applications of the law. In short, like the many different women who participate and the many different ways that they do, this issue seeks an elevated, diverse discourse on the issue of women in sport.
The Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport (JLAS) is the preeminent journal in the United States for the publication of sport law research. JLAS was the first peer-reviewed sport and recreation law journal and operates with the purpose of publishing relevant studies that push legal theory and practice forward. While submissions grounded in traditional legal research are always welcomed, JLAS also accepts transdisciplinary research that yields regulatory or legal implications for sport. The Journal accepts submissions in either APA or Bluebook style and welcomes various methodologies including traditional legal research, qualitative research, quantitative research, or research utilizing mixed-method approaches. Publishable works are those that yield both important practical and theoretical implications.