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Women in Sports

  • May 1, 1552


    Mary Queen of Scots was the first woman to play golf. It was during her reign that the famous golf course at St. Andrews was built, in 1552. Mary coined the term “caddy” by calling her assistants cadets.
  • Boxing

    Nell Saunders defeated Rose Harland in the first United States women's boxing match. Saunders received a silver butter dish as a prize.
  • Basketball

    The first women's intercollegiate basketball game took place between Stanford and the University of California. Stanford won.
  • Tennis

    Hazel Hotchkiss Wrightman is nicknamed the “Queen Mother of Tennis” because she dramatically changed women's tennis. In 1903 in San Francisco, California, she introduced volley and net play. Prior to this the game was played from the baseline without much movement.
  • Auto Racing

    Auto Racing
    The first all-women auto race took place in 1909. It was a roundtrip race from New York City to Philadelphia. There were 12 competitors. The Woman's Motoring Club cup went to Alice DiHeyes of New Jersey. She drove a Cadillac with four female passengers
  • Baseball

    17-year-old Jackie Mitchell signed with the Chattanooga Lookouts, a minor league team in the Southern Association. She was a pitcher who is best remembered for striking out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game.
  • Football

    Pat Palinkas was the first woman to play in a professional football game. She held the ball for the place kickers on the Orlando Panthers team.
  • Gymnastics

    Marcia Frederick was the first American woman to win the World Gymnastics Championship. She won in 1978 on the uneven bars.
  • Soccer

    In 1991 Jo Ann Fairbanks became the first American female referee to serve at an international soccer event when she was a lineswoman in the women's qualifying rounds for the North and Central American and Caribbean regional soccer tournament in Haiti.
  • Softball

    In 1995, the Women's Professional Fastpitch Tour traveled around the United States to bolster interest in their new fastpitch women's league. The league actually began on May 30, 1997 with teams in Atlanta, Charlotte, Durham, Hampton Roads (Va.), Orlando, and Tampa.
  • Women's Sports Foundation

    Women's Sports Foundation
    Women's Sports Foundation VidoeWatch a recap from the biggest night in women's sports! Champion athletes and celebrities come to together to celebrate the involvement of girls and women in athletics at the Women's Sports Foundation's Annual Salute to Women in Sports.