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Rule Number:160-5-1-.20

Gender Equity in Sports  

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    1. Bona fide survey – survey approved by the department which measures the interest of eligible students at a school to field a team in a particular athletic activity or sport and which complies with generally accepted opinion survey principles regarding neutral wording. Eligible students are those students reasonably anticipated to be enrolled at a school at the time an additional sport may be offered. The Athletic Interest Survey in Appendix A shall be considered a bona fide survey.
    2. Interscholastic athletics – any athletic activity or sport that involves competition between teams representing two or more schools.
    3. Intramural athletics – any athletic activity or sport that involves competition between teams in the same school.
    4. Participant – a member on the official roster of an interscholastic or intramural activity or sport who participated in team practices and was eligible for participation.
    5. Scholarship sport – an athletic activity or sport for which an institution in the University System of Georgia offers a full or partial scholarship, based on athletic ability.
    6. Sports equity coordinator – individual designated by the local school system pursuant to O.C.G.A.§ 20-2-315(h).
    1. Gender Equity Policy. Local boards of education shall adopt a policy or policies to ensure that no student shall, on the basis of gender, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, be treated differently from another student, or otherwise be discriminated against in any interscholastic or intramural athletics offered by such local school system, and such local school system shall not provide any such athletics separately on such basis. A sample gender equity policy is included in the Gender Equity in Sports Resource Manual.
      1. The policy shall include a procedure for accepting or rejecting all donations of services or items, including booster club support, to any athletic program.
      2. Local boards of education shall annually notify its students of such policy. A sample notice is included in the Gender Equity in Sports Resource Manual.
    2. Interest Survey for Intramural and Interscholastic Activities.
      1. A local school system that elects to conduct a bona fide survey, in accordance with O.C.G.A.§ 20-2-315(f)(3), shall utilize the Athletic Interest Survey in accordance with instructions in Appendix A or shall submit an alternate survey to the department for approval.
        1. If a local school system elects to submit an alternate survey for approval, it shall submit such survey at least 60 days prior to the date it intends to conduct the survey and shall provide the name and phone number of the individual who is available to respond to questions pertaining to such survey.
        2. The results of this survey shall be valid for 24 months, unless a new bona fide survey is conducted within the 24 month period. A local school system shall conduct a bona fide survey at the request of nine students at the school, but no more frequently than once every 12 months. However, if a local board of education has a policy against offering interscholastic or intramural sports in certain grades for members of both genders, the local school system shall not be required to conduct an interest survey in those grades.
      2. A local school system shall tally by gender the results of a bona fide survey to determine potential interest in various sports. A sample tally sheet is included in the Gender Equity in Sports Resource Manual.
    3. Informational Meeting. A local school system shall conduct an informational meeting if the results of the bona fide survey indicate enough potential interest in a specific sport to field a team, as determined by the local school system. The informational meeting shall be conducted so as to provide information to parents and students specific to such sport, such as length and dates of season, time required for practices and competitions, travel time to competitions, possible costs to participants, and other pertinent topics, as well as to provide feedback information to the school to gauge actual interest in such sport.
    4. Use of Results of Interest Survey and Informational Meeting.
      1. Based on the results of the bona fide survey and the informational meeting, the local school system shall determine whether there is sufficient interest to field a team in a particular sport.
      2. A local school system shall not be required to field a team at a school in a particular athletic activity or sport if:
        1. there is insufficient interest at that school to support intramural teams; or
        2. there is insufficient interest at that school to support an interscholastic team; or
        3. there are no interscholastic teams participating in such sport with which to compete.
      3. A local school system shall sponsor an interscholastic team in a scholarship sport at a particular school if such school currently sponsors an athletic activity or sport that is similar to the scholarship sport, unless there is insufficient interest.
      4. A local school system shall field a team in a particular athletic activity or sport at a school where there is sufficient interest for such a team if equal opportunities for participation in that school are not available to both genders in interscholastic or intramural athletic activities or sports based on factors listed in O.C.G.A.§ 20-2-315(c) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
        1. If there is sufficient interest at a particular school to field teams in multiple sports for one gender, the local school system shall only be required to field such teams at that school which would ensure equal opportunities for participation at that school by each gender based on factors listed in O.C.G.A.§ 20-2-315(c) and Title IX of the  education Amendments of 1972.
    5. Compliance Report.
      1. Each local school system shall complete a School System Compliance Report on Gender Equity in Sports as included in the Gender Equity in Sports Resource Manual for the previous academic year regarding its compliance with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-315. Local school systems shall refer to the Gender Equity in Sports Resource Manual for guidance on completing the report.
      2. Each local school system shall submit such report to the department by August 30 of each year.
      3. If a school system does not submit the compliance reports in accordance with this section, the department’s report to the General Assembly shall reflect that such system did not adhere to reporting requirements in this rule.
    6. Records Retention. Local school systems shall maintain all records related to compliance with this rule and O.C.G.A. § 20-2-315, including surveys, tally sheets, and complaints in accordance with state and local records retention schedules, but in no event less than five (5) years from the date of such record.
    7. Appeals to State Board of Education. All appeals to the State Board of Education regarding compliance of a local school system with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-315 shall be conducted in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-315 and O.C.G.A. § 20-2-1160.

Click on the Link below for Athletic Interest Survey

Appendix A


Georgia Department Of Education
Adopted Date:  4/12/2001
Effective Date:  5/6/2001

NOTE: The State of Georgia has moved the Georgia Code. This new environment no longer allows us to link directly to the Georgia Code. For example enter 20-02-0211 in the search window and the Georgia Code will appear.
Policy Code Description
IDFA Gender Equity in Sports
Georgia Code Description
O.C.G.A § 20-02-0315 Gender equity in sports
These references are not intended to be part of the rule itself, nor do they indicate the basis or authority for the board to enact this rule. Instead, they are provided as additional resources for those interested in the subject matter of the rule.
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