In 2012 the Department of Education received a complaint claiming that the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (“MIAA”) policy of allowing boys to try out for girls’ field hockey constituted a violation of Title IX. This federal statute prohibits discrimination in educational institutions on the basis of sex. This Note looks at the common roots of Title IX and the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that allowed boys’ participation in field hockey. It then examines Title IX as it applies to the MIAA field hockey policy and determines that the Massachusetts Policy does not, in and of itself, create a violation. This Note further suggests that even if the policy did violate Title IX, policy implications suggest that using Title IX to invalidate another provision designed to promote gender equality is unwise. Finally, this Note identifies a number of gender-neutral alternatives to deal with the legitimate problems posed by the participation of boys in what are traditionally girls’ sports.
An Equal Playing Field: The Potential Conflict Between Title IX & the Massachusetts Equal Rights Amendment,
B.C.J.L. & Soc. Just.