UO Special Collections and University Archives, in collaboration with Oregon Softball and the Women In Flight program, presents a three-part series this week detailing the early history of Oregon women’s softball in celebration of the last regular season games this weekend at Howe Field (1936-2015). Part I focused on the career of Becky Sisley, former women’s athletic director at the University of Oregon, and her contributions to the growth of women’s athletics on campus; today features a look at the rise of softball in the 1970s in the wake of Title IX legislation; and tomorrow’s post will detail the development of UO’s first dedicated softball field in 1979.
During Becky Sisley’s early years at the University of Oregon, softball and other women’s competitive sports and other Women’s Recreation programs received only limited funding from the Incidental Fee Committee. The formation of the Northwest College Women’s Extramural Association (later NCWSA) in 1966 began the process of legitimizing and formalizing policies governing intercollegiate competition for women. The softball interest group’s 1966 budget totaled $37.32 in Sisley’s first season as coach. Women’s sports were beginning to be recognized in the late 1960s as regional competition and national championships were initiated for several sports, but not softball. Continue reading