Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day! 

NGWSD was recognized by congress in 1987 to recognize women's sports, bringing awareness to the continuing advancement and struggle of equality for women in sports. 

This year’s theme is expanding opportunity, recognizing the progress Title IX sparked and the continuous effort to ensure all women have access to sports.

To honor the day, let’s take a look at some of the top moments in women’s sports:

March 1991 | The Women’s Final Four is televised on CBS for the first time.

Tennessee Athletics
March 1992 | The Gender Equity Task Force is assembled in response to the first NCAA gender-equity study, which showed disparities in the treatment of male and female student-athletes.


September 1993 | The NCAA now sponsors 15 women’s sports, in which 97,978 women compete on 6,173 teams across all three divisions

Kenyon Athletics
January 1994 | The NCAA Emerging Sports Program, designed to increase athletics opportunities for women, is formed. 

Washington Athletics

September 1996 | Buffalo cross country runner Bridget Niland becomes the first college athlete, male or female, to chair the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. 

Buffalo Athletics

2001 | NCAA championships are first contested in women’s ice hockey, women’s water polo and Division III women’s lacrosse.

NCAA Photos
July 2001 | The NCAA and ESPN agree to a $160 million deal for expanded coverage of the Division I women’s basketball tournament, beginning in 2003.

Jamie Schwaberow | NCAA Photos
May 2002 | The Florida Southern College women’s golf team wins the 2002 NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships by 74 strokes: the largest margin of victory in Division II golf championship history – men or women. 

Mike Farrell | NCAA Photos

September 2003 | Tonya Butler of the University of West Alabama becomes the first woman in NCAA football history to make a field goal.

West Alabama Athletics
September 2003 | The NCAA now sponsors 19 women’s sports, in which 158,459 women compete on 8,831 teams across all three divisions. 

Stephen Nowland | NCAA Photos
November 2004 | Wartburg College’s Missy Buttry becomes the first woman in any NCAA division to win three individual cross country titles. 

NCAA Photos
November 2008 | Emileigh Mercer finishes her career at Bowdoin College with a 39-1 record, the best winning percentage for any goalie in any division in NCAA field hockey history

Bowdoin Athletics
February 2009 | Pat Summitt wins her 1,000th game, becoming the first Division I basketball coach (men’s or women’s) to reach the mark. 

Tennessee Athletics
February 2009 | For 112 straight basketball games, the University of Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris produced double-figure points and rebounds. No men’s or women’s player has come close to her dominance in those categories. 

Oklahoma Athletics
March 2010 | Texas Christian University becomes the first all-female team to claim the National Collegiate Men’s and Women’s Rifle Championships. 

Michael Clements | NCAA Photos
September 2013 | The NCAA now sponsors 20 women’s sports, in which 200,953 women compete on 10,057 teams across all three divisions. 

Justin Taffy | NCAA Photos
April 2015 | The NCAA Gender Equity Task Force reconvenes, pledging to work toward increasing opportunities for female student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators.

Rachel Stark | NCAA Photos
January 2017 | The four-time defending national champion UConn women's basketball team breaks its own NCAA record with 91 consecutive victories. 

Brett Rojo | USA TODAY Sports Images