University of Minnesota Alumni Association


UMN Women's Sports Through the Years

The most visible successes of Title IX over the past 50 have come in sports.

Photo credit: UMN Athletics

While Title IX was designed to ensure equitable treatment between men and women in a variety of areas, the most visible successes over the past 50 years have come in sports. A few highlights:

1971 Swimming and diving becomes the first official varsity women’s intercollegiate sport at the U of M.

1972 Women’s basketball begins varsity intercollegiate competition.

1974 Several varsity women’s programs start: crew, golf, field hockey, gymnastics, tennis, softball, volleyball, and cross country.

1975 Minnesota forms the Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Department, which operates parallel to men’s programs.

1981 Field hockey discontinued as a varsity sport.

1982 Women’s crew earns varsity status, is discontinued in 1985, but returns in 2000.

1993 Women’s soccer becomes a varsity intercollegiate sport.

1997 The Minnesota women’s hockey program forms.

1999 Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium opens as the home of Gopher soccer. 

2000 The softball team plays its first game in Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

2000 Women’s rowing becomes the 12th women’s varsity sport at the U of M.

2002 The Baseline Tennis Center opens and Ridder Arena, the first arena dedicated solely to collegiate women’s hockey, opens.

2007 The rowing program moves into the new boathouse along the Mississippi River.

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