The NCAA Emerging Sports program is designed to provide the opportunity of new sport development in the United States by the NCAA for female collegiate athletes. An emerging sport is any athletic activity, indicating interest in becoming a sport by the governing body, meant to improve the interest of women into the world of sports and provide opportunities for women at NCAA partner institutions. All varsity sports would be held under the same specifications as typical sport programs and evaluated based upon compliance with Title IX and inclusionary practices of leagues.
The Emerging Sports program rules and regulations allow for a ten-year window for an indicated activity to stay on the emerging sports list and gain a minimum of 40 NCAA partner institutions with a developed a varsity program. After an emerging sport has concluded the ten-year period without meeting the standards of the Emerging Sports program it is evaluated for sustainability among Colleges and Universities. If the NCAA concludes the current sport is unsustainable, the emerging sport status is removed and the activity continues among other intercollegiate avenues such as through organized club teams. Concluding a twelve-month period where the activity can reevaluate it’s flaws and create new strategies, the governing body of an activity may resubmit to the Emerging Sports program showing letter of support from fifteen or more NCAA partner institutions.
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The Gender-Equity Task Force initially recommended the Emerging Sports program on a list provided to the Committee on Women’s Affairs to improve the position of women in collegiate athletics.The Committee on Women’s Affairs oversees the Emerging Sports program. The Emerging Sports program developed as a means for creating inclusion and support of women’s athletics with partner institutions facing Title IX requirements.