What's Happened in Women's Sports So Far in 2020

It’s only two months into 2020 but so much has already happened in women’s sports. The past decade saw a higher number of females in sports, better media coverage, and an overall larger audience interested in girls in sports. Athletes like Jordyn Huitema and Brooke D’Hondt, both under 18 years old, are giving young girls the inspiration to play sports, and the belief that they can make it to a professional level. 

Here are the top stories in women’s sports from 2020 so far that you should know:

  1. 1. The NHL All-Star Weekend featured women hockey stars

    This year the NHL All-Star Weekend, which is usually three days of hockey games and skill events featuring the best NHL athletes, included some of the best American and Canadian women’s hockey players. Not only were some of the top athletes such as Brianna Decker and Marie-Philip Poulin invited, but there was also a 3-on-3 game in which Team Canada and Team USA played 20 minutes of fun, but intense hockey. This was a big deal for these athletes, as in early 2019 the CWHL folded due to insufficient funding. Hopefully hockey fans around the world will see how amazing these athletes are and a new women’s league will open up in the future. After the event, the National Hockey League Foundation donated $100,000 to girls hockey organizations on behalf of the American and Canadian All-Stars.

  2. 2. The WNBA renegotiated for a new CBA

    In 2018, the WNBA players opted out of their last Collective Bargaining Agreement to renegotiate their terms. The new CBA deal that came into place in January 2020 will begin this season and continue until 2027 with a mutual opt-out after six years. The leagues’ top players will earn $500,000, which is more than triple the previous maximum. The 2020 salary cap is now $1.3 million, a huge step in the right direction for equality.    On top of this, working moms will receive a full salary while on maternity leave, an annual child care stipend of $5,000, and new progressive family planning benefits for issues like adoption and surrogacy.    The CBA even guarantees individual hotel rooms for every player and new mental health resources that will help keep players strong. The 2020 season will also feature a 36-game schedule for the first time and the inaugural edition of the Commissioner’s Cup tournament, which will offer a $750,000 prize to the winning team.    Lastly, the number of WNBA games shown on ABC will grow from three to five, and will be a part of ESPN’s 17-game regular season schedule. This is the first time ever that the average player compensation in the WNBA is six figures, resulting in an exciting new decade of women’s basketball.

  3. 3. Many females were hired in major league sports

    Females have been dominating the fields, courts, and arenas in 2020 but they’ve also been killing it on the benches. The San Francisco Giants recently hired Alyssa Nakken, making her the first full time female coach in the MLB. She played college softball for the Sacramento State Hornets as a first baseman and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her degree in psychology will allow her to connect with the professional baseball players she’ll be coaching in the next season of the MLB. 

    In the NFL, Jennifer King was hired as a full-year coaching intern with the Washington Redskins and is expected to assist running backs coach Randy Jordan. Because of her skills, she was nicknamed “Jet” by her teammates in the Women’s Football Alliance. It will be exciting to see how these fresh coaches do in the big leagues.

  4. 4. Katie Sowers became the first female and first openly LGBTQ+ person to coach in a Super Bowl

    49ers coach Katie Sowers made history becoming the first female and first openly gay coach in Super Bowl history. She worked as an offensive assistant coach and helped the San Francisco 49ers strengthen their offensive attack. Like Jennifer King, Sowers also played in the Women’s Football Alliance as a quarterback and defensive back. Although the 49ers didn’t win, all sports fans should remember the name Katie Sowers, as we will be seeing more of her with her team in 2020.

  5. 5. Canada’s women’s soccer team and basketball team qualified for the Olympics

    The Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team has won Olympic bronze twice in 2012 and 2016. They also won the Concacaf Championship in 1998 and 2010. After a 1-0 win over Costa Rica on February 7th, the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games. 18-year-old Jordyn Huitema potted the lone goal of the match, sending the girls in red to Tokyo this summer. This will be the fourth consecutive Olympic Games for Canadians. As for basketball, the team won 80-50 over the Swedes, qualifying for their third consecutive Olympic Games. This team is the eighth Canadian team to qualify for Tokyo so make sure to support our country on the big stage in August.

  6. 6. Sofia Kenin won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open

    After appearing in three Fed Cup matches, the American 21-year-old shocked the world with her Women’s Singles win in early 2020. She first appeared on the court when she was 18 and although that event didn’t end well for Kenin, she went on to become one of the United States’ breakout stars, alongside her teammates Serena Williams, Coco Gauff, Alison Riske and team captain Kathy Rinaldi.

  7. 7. Christine Sinclair broke the record for most international goals among men and women

    One of Canada’s biggest stars, Christine Sinclair, recently confirmed her star status by hitting a new record. Born in Burnaby, British Columbia, Christine is the most successful soccer player to ever compete for Canada. In 2000 she made her debut at the Algarve Cup where she scored her first international goal and now she holds the record for most international goals in soccer history with over 185 career international goals. In 2012, on top of competing in the Olympics, she received the Lou Marsh Award and was the first soccer player to win as Canadian Athlete of the Year. She was also named Canada Soccer’s Women’s Player of the Year 11 times straight from 2004 to 2014 and again in 2016 and 2018. She has also been nominated multiple times for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. Sinclair is such an inspiration to young female athletes and she sure isn’t stopping any time soon.

  8. 8. 15-year-old Coco Gauff had a fairytale run at the Australian Open

    Gauff started her 2020 by beating Venus Williams and Naomi Osaka in the third round and she was headed towards becoming the youngest Grand Slam quarter finalist at only 15-years-old. She went head to head with Sofia Kenin, the 21-year-old American previously mentioned, but after the second set Gauff was evidently exhausted and Kenin came out on top. Although Gauff didn’t win this Grand Slam, she is just getting started and will definitely be an athlete to watch in 2020.

All of these athletes have already made a name for themselves in the first two months of this year and will only be improving in the following ten months. Did I miss any moments in women’s sports this year?