IX AT 50: Wichita’s Darr becomes first woman to officiate MIAA football game

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 9:05 PM CST
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June 23, 1972, President Nixon signed Title IX into law, prohibiting sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. Title IX has largely been considered the springboard for high school and collegiate women’s sports to get where they are today — but the fight for equality is far from over. Every Thursday night at 10:00 p.m. leading up to the 50th anniversary of the law’s passing, 13 Sports will honor the women who changed the game for girls’ and women’s sports in Kansas.

“IX at 50: The Trailblazers of Women’s Sports in Kansas”

JOPLIN, Mo. (WIBW) - When Missouri Western and Missouri Southern took the field Oct. 1, 2021, it was more than just a game for Taylor Darr.

“I knew that it was a moment in history that I was making and that was super exciting,” she said.

Darr became the first woman to ever officiate an MIAA football game.

“I was a little emotional at first because I knew what it meant,” Darr said. “It meant everything. All the hard work I was doing paid off.”

She began her career in stripes with Kansas State Intramurals. It wasn’t long before she began working high school games. She then moved up to the junior college level, where she’s been for three seasons.

The call moving her up to the DII ranks was a major milestone for the Wichita Northwest math teacher.

“It meant a lot to me,” Darr said. “And it meant a lot of the people that have helped me get this far. I texted and called so many people, because they knew that this is something that I was striving for.”

While Darr is the first, she hopes by knocking down that barrier she’s not the last.

“I hope it’s an inspiration for anyone that wants to do it,” she said. “I’m glad that I could take that step and honored that I could. And I hope that it is easier in the future.”

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