Monday, January 16, 2012

Lacrosse League in Connecticut Faces Title IX Suit

The New Canaan Lacrosse Association, a private youth lacrosse league in Connecticut, is defending litigation claiming that it violates Title IX for failing to provide equal treatment to girls and boys. It is unclear, however, that the law applies, given Title IX's limited application to educational institutions and the fact that NCLA is not affiliated with any school. Nevertheless, the lawsuit has succeed in raising awareness about parental concerns about unequal treatment in the league, including providing boys with more money, equipment, supplies and experienced referees and a lower ratio of coaches players.

The article does not say whether the lawsuit also includes claims under the Equal Protection Clause, which prohibits sex discrimination by government entities as well as private entities with which they are closely intertwined. In my opinion, the league's use of municipal fields makes that at least a plausible argument, one more likely to apply than Title IX.