Home Field Disadvantage
The Home Field Disadvantage exhibit covers the unequal on-campus facilities, support, and competition that Trinity University women’s athletics received from the mid-1960s to 2000. Though Trinity women participated in sports before the 1960s, the coalition of women’s tennis players at an intercollegiate championship in 1969 was the first team, though unofficial, to win a national championship for the University. Despite having no budget, coach, and not even official practices, they won both the singles and doubles tournaments. This exhibit shows the experiences of the women athletes who competed in the women’s athletic program's formative years and how the Trinity community treated the program, as well as the history of Trinity to sports and the national movement for women’s rights.
With the passage of Title IX in 1972, banning sex-based descrimination in participation and benefits of activities in any educational program or activity receiving federal funding, women had legal backing for equal access to education, including sports. This ushered in a national upheaval in sports that spanned decades and came in waves that benefited the monetarily privileged students, sports, and institutions. In response to Title IX, Trinity University’s administration gave varsity status to volleyball, softball, and basketball, with several more added. However, these victories were often symbolic or marginal. Despite high interest levels, progress to equal facilities, funding, medical care, and competition came slowly. With athletes simply excited to play, long-term change often came from coaches and administrators, often women, with perspective on what these women were still lacking. It took decades of interest in women's sports to erode its stigma into tolerance and eventually respect for the NCAA competitors and SCAC champions.
Click on the sport icons below to explore the map. Then use the tabs on the right to navigate through the exhibit.