50 Years Later: Title IX’s impact on Algonquin


Riya Mahanta and Katherine Wu

NESPA Winner: Localizing, 2023

The Harbinger, Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough, MA

Today, whether playing on a girls’ or boys’ team, Algonquin athletes wear their Titan uniforms with pride, putting in long hours on the field, court, track or mat, competing at the top level and striving for State Championships. However, flipping through yearbooks from the 1960s and 1970s shows another story. There were significantly fewer girls’ teams than boys’. Not only did uniforms look different, with many of the girls wearing skirts, but as athletes from the 1960s say, the focus for girls was less on competition and more on just having fun. That all began to change fifty years ago in 1972.

In June 1972, President Nixon signed Title IX into law, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in education and athletic programs. This law changed female athletics at Algonquin forever.

Today, 50 years later, Algonquin has 16 varsity girls’ sports teams and in the years since Title IX went into effect, girls’ teams have won a total of 10 State Championships. However, change wasn’t immediate. The history of women’s athletics at Algonquin is extensive and complex.

When Title IX was first signed into legislation, Algonquin offered more sports for girls than many other area high schools. However, the only sports offered for girls at ARHS were field hockey, basketball, cheerleading, softball and tennis. Although there was boys’ hockey, track and golf, these weren’t options for girls. In fact, girls’ hockey, which won the State Championship in 2022,  became a varsity sport in 2003 and girls’ golf in 2017. Both teams are currently collaboratives with area schools.


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