When determining whether a school provides equal coaching benefits for girls’ and boys’ teams, such factors as coach availability, qualifications, and compensation should be considered.

1. Availability:

Are the coaches of female athletes as accessible as the coaches of male athletes? Coaches who are also full-time teachers are available to student athletes during school hours throughout the school year, while walk-on coaches may be available only during the season at practice and game times.

Does the school provide the same number of coaches (including assistant coaches) for comparable sports (e.g., baseball and softball)?

What is the coach-to-athlete ratio for boys, and for girls? For example, take the total number of female athletes and divide by the number of girls’ coaches at the school. Do this again for the boys. The numbers should be the same, or very close to the same. A school with a ratio of 22.7 male athletes per coach and a ratio of 44.9 female athletes per coach was found to be in violation of Title IX.

2. Qualifications:

Equally qualified coaches should be assigned to the boys’ and girls’ teams; it is a violation of Title IX to regularly assign the more qualified coaches to the boys’ teams. When assessing a coach’s qualifications, such factors as training, experience, and professional standing should be considered. Although many years of coaching experience may be an indicator of qualification, remember that someone who has coached for three years can be as good as or better than someone who has coached for ten years.

3. Compensation:

To determine whether coaches of girls’ teams are compensated fairly, the following should be considered:

  • Compensation or salary (per sport, per season)
  • Duration of the coaching contract
  • Conditions relating to contract renewal
  • Coach’s experience (i.e., head coach vs. assistant coach)
  • Coaching duties performed
  • Working conditions
  • Other terms and conditions of employment

Note: If female coaches (of either boys’ or girls’ teams) believe that they have been discriminated against, or receive lesser pay than male coaches, they should seek legal advice as they may have grounds to bring a lawsuit.

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