Women's Athletic Association

Field Hockey, ca. 1905

In 1905, the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) was founded to unify women’s athletics and promote interest in sports among women at the University of Michigan.[1] Because there were no varsity sports available to women at the university, club sports managed by the WAA—a student-run organization with a faculty advisor—remained the norm until a requirement for women’s varsity athletics was passed under federal Title IX legislation in the 1970s.[2] This meant the majority of athletic activities and competitions took place within the university rather than with students of other colleges in intercollegiate competitions.



[1] Gladys Appelt, “The History of the Women’s Athletic Association,” 1928, Women’s Athletic Association 1926-1928, Box 1, Women’s Athletic Association (University of Michigan) Records 1905-1962, University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library, Ann Arbor, MI.

[2] Letter from Marie Hartwig to Beth Broach, Nov 20, 1944, Michigan Women’s Athletic Association 1939-1954, Box 1, Marie D. Hartwig Papers 1927-1988, University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library, Ann Arbor, MI.

Women's Athletic Association