Brigham Young University Prelaw Review


Esports, Title IX, scholarships, equality, collegiate athletics, Gender, Gaming


Since its implementation in 1972, Title IX protects people in the United States from discrimination on the basis of sex under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Currently, women do not receive scholarship funds from universities with esports programs proportionate to their overall participation in esports. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil rights, which oversees Title IX implementation, currently does not have a concrete definition for “sport.” Instead, they evaluate any given activity as a “sport” under Title IX on a case-by- case basis using the following three criteria: whether or not the activity has a governing body, program structure and administration, as well as team preparation and competition. The only question surrounding esports qualifying pertains to whether or not it has a governing body. If a governing body for the esports domain were identified, Title IX protections would be legally guaranteed since esporting programs clearly fulfill the latter two criteria. The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) effectively serves the role of a governing body for collegiate esports programs, and should qualify them for Title IX application surrounding scholarship distribution on the basis of sex.