The GAA gave girls an athletic outlet

 Photo from the 1966 Madisonian courtesy of the Groveport Heritage Museum
 In the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s girls varsity sports thrived at Groveport Madison High School as well as at other area schools. But after World War II girls varsity sports disappeared from the athletic landscape and did not reappear again until June 23, 1972, when Congress enacted Title IX of the Educational Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act states, in part, that: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Title IX applies to any educational program in an institution that receives any federal funds." The legislation, which also applied to educational programs, opened the door once again for girls high school varsity sports in the 1970s. But in the years between World War II and 1972, female high school athletes had few organized sports options. One that arose was the Girls Athletic Association (GAA). The organization offered sports such as field hockey, basketball, softball, and volleyball for high school girls. Betty Woods, a 1957 graduate of Groveport Madison High School and GAA member, said in the 1950s most county schools did not offer GAA, but Groveport Madison did have a GAA program at the urging of then principal Lucinda Doersam. Woods said GAA teams of that era often competed against girls varsity teams from area private schools. "We played basketball, softball, and field hockey," said Woods. "When we practiced field hockey we used to tease the boys on the football team about them needing to wear all their pads while we were out there playing field hockey in skirts with no padding at all to absorb getting whacked on the shins with a field hockey stick." Woods noted times changed slowly as the GAA girls had to wear skirts when they competed until the 1960s. Pictured here are the GAA athletes from 1966. At left are the juniors and seniors and at right are the freshmen and sophomores. In the 1960s and early 1970s the GAA competitions were mostly intramural among the four classes.
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