Many of the pre-existing women's sports organizations such as Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), Fédération Sportive Féminine Internationale (FSFI), and American Basketball League (ABL) have been the casualties of male dominated sports structure. These organizations merged or dissolved as other male dominated institutions began to include women's competitive sports. The NCAA saw the potential for additional revenue as the AIAW grew. Rather than lose significant financial resources the NCAA insisted that its member institutions offer women championships. This meant that both men's and women's programs had to be included in member institution or not be recognized by the NCAA. As a result of the Women's Olympic Games the International Olympic Committee (IOC) feared it would lose power over the amateur sports domain. This discovery motivated the IOC to include more sports for women in the 1928 Olympic Games. The ABL struggling financially and creatively folded in 1998 as a result many of its players joined the WNBA creating an unofficial merger. The disappearance of these organizations has in many ways created a void of women leadership. Consequently women have not been able to truly identify their role as sports administrators.
The Women's Olympic Game was the brainchild of Alice Milliat. Milliat and her fellow French feminist founded the Fédération Sportive Féminine Internationale (FSFI) in 1917. She founded this organization after the International Olympic Committee refused her petition to allow women to compete in track and field at the Olympics. The federation included the United States, Great Britain, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, and Spain. The first World Game...
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... 404). Consequently the lose of the ABL also reduced the numbers of women in administration positions, of coaches and of opportunities for leadership. The ABL's most important legacy is that it did not allow its self to be defined by the gender of its athletes. Its demise or "merger" ultimately reinforces the gendered identity of the WNBA.
In conclusion the reduction of women in leadership positions is in part due to the mergers of female sport structured organizations with male dominated sports structures. The opportunity to gain and lose additional resources was the primary motivations of male dominated structures such as the NCAA. The void of women's leadership in sport has perhaps created a sense of lose in women's athletes. Although women have significantly improved its position in sport and society there is still a long journey to equality in both arenas.
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