The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Ms. Day speaks to Hockaday students as well as other students in the Dallas area as part of her role to involve Hockaday students in the community and lead them to fulfill their purpose.
A day with Ms. Day
Sarah Moskowitz and Melinda HuMay 19, 2024

How did you get your start in social impact? Day: Out of college, I decided to do a year in a program called The Jesuit Volunteer Corps. It...

Lone Star Royalty Q&A
Lone Star Royalty Q&A
Lang Cooper and Mary Bradley SutherlandMay 17, 2024

What initially interested you in beauty pageants? Roberts: When I was six I joined the Miss America Organization. This program is for girls...

Branching Out During Break
Jessica Boll, Web Editor in Chief • May 16, 2024

Instead of lazily lounging by the pool this summer, taking advantage of an academic break is the best usage of the months when we don't have...

Senior Splash Day
Senior Splash Day
May 13, 2024

Breaking Records and Barriers

Women’s sports on the rise

As the crowd cheers from around the basketball court, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark rushes forward and shoots over the defense, scoring a three-pointer.? Clark’s record-setting season helped boost the popularity of women’s college basketball this season. The April 7 championship game between Iowa and South Carolina captivated nearly 19 million average viewers, setting a record as the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history 

Beyond collegiate athletics, women’s sports are gaining traction worldwide, with globally increased interest in sports such as the Women’s Super League, the highest league of women’s football in England, and Women’s World Cup.? 

The foundation for the rise of women’s sports was laid decades ago with the enactment of Title IX in 1972. This civil rights law prohibits gender-based discrimination in schools receiving federal funding.? 

For athletes like senior Zoe Stone, who will be rowing at Georgetown University, Title IX paved the way for participation in collegiate sports. 

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“Title IX is a big reason why women’s sports are now rising at the college level, which is what’s happening right now, fifty plus years later,” Stone said. “It’s what’s enabled me to do exactly what I’m doing now, so for me, it’s a big reason why I’m able to do sports.” 

In 2022, Hockaday crew named one of their boats Title IX, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the revolutionary movement. 

Sophomore Claire Ying, an avid follower of women’s soccer, has also noticed an increase in viewership of these games.  

“Especially after the world cup, some teams like Arsenal have been having sellout crowds,” Ying said. 

It’s hard to pinpoint what, exactly, is driving the sudden surge in popularity of women’s sports, but Stone believes part of the hype for women’s basketball compared to men’s is the longevity of female athletes’ careers in collegiate sports, fostering deeper connections with fans.? 

“I think that the spirit behind certain players at the collegiate level for women is really different than men, because women stay around longer,” Stone said. “It’s really cool to watch how Caitlin Clark gets so much hype because she’s been at Iowa, and she’s become kind of an icon.” 

On the other hand, Ying has a different motivation for watching women’s soccer over men’s. While she watched both men’s and women’s soccer during the World Cup last summer, only her interest in women’s soccer persisted.? 

“The US women’s national team, they’re very polarizing, with a lot of controversial movements and advocacy,” Ying said. “I don’t think that’s something that the men’s national teams do, so I think following that side of the story is more interesting. They do more than just kick a ball around.”? 

Despite remarkable progress, significant disparities persist in women’s sports. The glaring pay gap between the WNBA and NBA remains a pressing issue, reflecting broader challenges in achieving gender equality in athletics. 

Ying also points out the disparities in streaming and media coverage between men’s and women’s soccer, highlighting the need for equitable visibility and support for female athletes. While the men’s national team is usually streamed on the FIFA app from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., the women’s team is streamed during off hours like 2 a.m. Ying also said it is more difficult finding streaming platforms for women’s teams compared to men’s soccer teams.? 

However, as some sports continue to grapple with systemic barriers, others, like rowing, enjoy robust support and recognition. Stone acknowledges the privileged position of women’s rowing within collegiate athletics, attributing its success to institutional emphasis and support as the only NCAA rowing is women’s rowing.? 

Stone also believes her positive and supported experience with sports is due to Hockaday’s cornerstone on athletics. With the school as one of the frontrunners in offering sports for women, Stone believes this allows girls to feel empowered and to have athletics as a core part of their identities.? 

As the legacies of Title IX and recent triumphs inspire a new generation of athletes and fans, the trajectory of women’s sports continues to ascend. Projections from Deloitte, a multinational professional services network company, suggest unprecedented growth, with elite women’s sports projected to surpass $1 billion in revenue by 2024, marking a significant milestone in the industry’s evolution. 

Ying hopes that one day more women’s teams will be able to sell out crowds.  

 “I also hope that they get to play more and in bigger stadiums because they are generating the revenue,” Ying said. “I think the rise is proving to companies that they should invest.” 

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About the Contributor
Audrey Liu
Audrey Liu, Staff Writer