Definitions

AIAW_Champions

AIAW Champions

The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women was founded in 1971 to govern collegiate women’s athletics and to administer national championships. During its existence, the AIAW and its predecessor, the Division for Girls' and Women's Sports (DGWS), recognized via these championships the teams and individuals who excelled at the highest level of women's collegiate competition.

After the 1981-82 academic year, the AIAW discontinued sponsorship of national championships and later was legally dissolved. At this time, the NCAA assumed sole sanctioning authority of its member schools' women's sports programs. Compilations of collegiate records by the NCAA, continuing into 2006, have ignored or segregated the contributions of AIAW athletes. Major college basketball's career women's scoring leader, Lynette Woodard of the University of Kansas, speaking on the exclusion of AIAW statistics, said, "Basketball doesn't just start with when the NCAA blessed it. And it's not about Jackie [Stiles, NCAA career scoring leader] and it's not about Lynette. It's about history. History is history."

Championships of the AIAW and affiliated/contemporary governing bodies of women's collegiate athletics through 1982

  • The Division of Girls and Women's Sports (DGWS), a division of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPER), was the first nationally recognized collegiate organization for women’s athletics and the forerunner of the AIAW.
  • The Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (CIAW) operated under the auspices of the DGWS. The CIAW governed from 1966-72 and conducted championships in seven sports.
  • During the 1972-73 season, its first year of actual operation, the AIAW offered its first seven national championships in the same seven sports (badminton, basketball, golf, gymnastics, swimming & diving, track & field, and volleyball).
  • In years when small-college championships (Division II or III) were not contested, and in sports without divisions, there was open competition among eligible teams.
  • Except as noted, the NCAA sponsored its first women's championship in each sport in the 1981-82 academic year. Individual athletic programs and, in some cases, individual teams within a program were permitted to choose the organization in which they participated. The NCAA has never sponsored championship competition in badminton, synchronized swimming, or slow-pitch softball.

Badminton

AIAW championship from 1973-82. Previously administered by the Division of Girls' and Women's Sports (DGWS).

After the last AIAW competition, collegiate badminton assumed the authority of its own national tournament committee in conjunction with the United States Badminton Association. The USBA continued the sponsorship of national collegiate championships from 1983 - ?. Arizona State won all ten titles from 1984 through 1993, when ASU dropped badminton.

Basketball

Division I

AIAW championship from 1973-82. Previously administered by the Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (CIAW).

Division II

Division III

Junior/Community College

Bowling

Non-AIAW: National Collegiate Championships were administered from inception in 1975 by the ABC/Women’s International Bowling Congress (now the US Bowling Congress)

From 2004 through the present (2007) the NCAA has sponsored a women's team championship.

Crew

Only AIAW championship was in 1982. The National Women's Rowing Association (NWRA) sponsored an annual open eights national championship from 1971-1979, among college and non-college teams. (There were no eights prior to 1971.) During this period, only in 1973 and 1975 did a college team win the national eights championship outright. According to USRowing, contemporary news reports in 1976 and 1977 do not mention a national collegiate title. Beginning in 1980, the NWRA sponsored the Women's Collegiate National Championship in varsity eights.

NWRA Open Eights top college finishers, 1971-1979 (champion in parentheses):

National Collegiate Varsity Eight Champions, 1980-1982:

1982 Varsity 8        Washington
1982 Varsity 4        Pennsylvania
1982 Lightweight 8    Harvard
1982 Lightweight 4    Minnesota
1982 Novice 8         Boston University
1982 Novice 4         Minnesota
1982 2nd Varsity 8    Washington

  • A medalist in the 1975 NWRA regatta stated that the 1975 regatta was the 10th annual national women's rowing championship, as emblazoned on t-shirts from the event.
  • One citation from 1996 states, "(The Cal Women's Crew) in 1979 finished second in the U.S. National Collegiate Championships. ... The 1980 Cal Women's Crew dominated the National Championships, ... They won the varsity eight, Cal's first ever varsity national championship in any women's sport."
  • One citation from 1999 states, "1980. First Women’s Collegiate Rowing Championship held in Oak Ridge, TN."
  • One citation from 2001 states, " Just seven years after its first race, the (Yale) women's team claimed its first national championship in 1979."
  • After the last AIAW competition, the National Collegiate Rowing Championship was held from 1983 through 1996. Washington won the varsity eight in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988. Wisconsin won in 1986. Cornell won in 1989. Cornell Novice 8 won in 1990. Princeton won in 1990, 1993, 1994 and 1995. Boston University won in 1991 and 1992. Brown won in 1996.
  • From 1997 through the present (2007) the NCAA has sponsored the women's collegiate rowing championship.

Cross Country

Division I

Division II

Division III

Fencing

AIAW championship from 1980-82. Previously administered by the National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association. The IWFA became the National IWFA in 1964 and called for a National Championship.

AIAW, 1980-1982:

The NIWFA has continued to sponsor national collegiate championships from 1983 through the present (2007). From 1990 through the present (2007) the NCAA has sponsored a combined men's and women's team championship.

Field Hockey

Division I

Co-sponsored from 1975-78 by the United States Field Hockey Association (USFHA).

Division II

Division III

Golf

Division I

Team

Individual
Prior to the era of the CIAW/AIAW, the DGWS also crowned an individual collegiate golf national champion from 1941-1965.

Division II

Team

Individual

Division III

Team

Individual

Gymnastics

Division I

Division II

Division III

Lacrosse

Division I

AIAW championship from 1981-82. Administered from 1978-80 by the United States Women's Lacrosse Association (USWLA)

Division II

Division III

Skiing

From 1983 through the present (2007) the NCAA has sponsored a combined men's and women's team championship.

Soccer

From Fall 1982 through the present the NCAA has sponsored a women's championship.

Fastpitch Softball

Division I

AIAW championship from 1974-82. Previously administered by the Amateur Softball Association (?) from ? - 1973. Co-sponsored by the AIAW and ASA through 1979.

Division II

Division III

Junior/Community College

Slowpitch Softball

After the last AIAW competition, a collegiate national championship in slow-pitch softball was held in 1983 (sponsor?). The University of South Florida won. It appears that most of the college women's slow-pitch teams at that time were from Florida and North Carolina.

Swimming and Diving

Division I

Division II

Division III

Synchronized Swimming

United States Synchronized Swimming has continued to sponsor national collegiate championships from 1983 through the present (2008). From 1983 through 2004, Ohio State won 19 of the 22 titles. Arizona won in 1984. Stanford won in 1998, 1999, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Ohio State won in 2008.

Tennis

Division I

AIAW championship from 1977-82. Administered from 1968-76 by the United States Tennis Association (USTA)

Division II

Division III

Indoor Track and Field

From 1983 through the present (2007) the NCAA has sponsored a women's team championship.

Outdoor Track and Field

Division I

AIAW championship from 1973-82. The first National Intercollegiate Track and Field Championship was sponsored by DGWS in the spring of 1969.

Division II

Division III

Volleyball

Division I

AIAW championship from 1973-82. Previously administered by the Division of Girls' and Women's Sports (DGWS).

Division II

Division III

Junior/Community College

Footnotes

[1] "Woodard wants place in college record book(,) NCAA doesn't recognize AIAW accomplishments," Andrew Hartsock, Lawrence Journal-World, March 3, 2001 (KUsports.com)

[2] Official 2007 NCAA Women’s Basketball Records Book, Jennifer Blomenberg (ed.), National Collegiate Athletic Association, November, 2006, p 18 (NCAA.org) (pdf - large)

[3] 2005 Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships Records, National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2005 (NCAA.org) (pdf)

Sources

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