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Gender Equity


In May 1982 the MHSA was named in a federal lawsuit alleging numerous violations of Title IX. One of the results of that litigation is the Ridgeway Settlement Agreement, which has become the minimum standard for defining gender equity in Montana’s high school athletic programs. Since that initial litigation, Montana has become one of the national leaders in promoting equity in athletics. Our goal is to assist schools in ensuring gender equity and to provide continuing education and awareness to member schools and to their communities.


Equity Services

Schools are encouraged to contact the MHSA office for assistance in addressing gender equity issues in their districts. Besides interpretations of the Ridgeway Settlement Agreement, there are a variety of services available to member schools.

On-Site Gender Equity Evaluations: Since the litigation of the 1980’s the MHSA has conducted random visitations to member schools for the purpose of monitoring compliance and gathering data. Schools are invited to contact us with requests for on-site visitations as a means of evaluating gender equity standards within the district, as well as educating staff and community members about basic equity principles and the Ridgeway Settlement Agreement.

Hazing Awareness Training: In recent years there has been increased scrutiny of the issues of hazing, initiations, and bullying at all levels of education. MHSA has developed a Hazing Awareness Workshop that is conducted by an MHSA staff member at the request of member schools.

To request information on any of the above, email:


Member schools are required to have an on-site administrator and/or athletic/activities director who has attended and completed an in-service on the transfer and other eligibility rules as well as equity and the Ridgeway Settlement Agreement. Such on-site personnel are required to attend a renewal in-service every five years.

MHSA staff offer the workshop at least three times every school year: in conjunction with the MCA Clinic in Great Falls, at the MCEL Convention, and as part of the MHSA Annual Meeting. The clinic will also be available via this website at some time in the future.