New Billie Jean King Award will honor excellence in women's sports coverage. What to know

Billie Jean King has spent her life empowering women in sports and lifting up their voices to even the playing field. So it’s only fitting that a new contest named in King’s honor will launch at the start of Women’s History Month.

The Associated Press Sports Editors, the APSE Foundation and King announced Thursday the creation of the Billie Jean King Award for Excellence in Women’s Sports Coverage. The annual prize will be awarded as part of a contest administered by APSE and the APSE Foundation. It will recognize excellence in reporting and writing about girls’ and women’s sports.

“Billie Jean King has been a champion for gender equality in sports for more than 60 years, and creating a prestigious award in her name specifically for coverage of women’s sports – I’ve already started affectionately referring to it as The Billie – elevates the great work being done and incentivizes this coverage in a way that is commensurate with the popularity and growth of women’s sports,” APSE president Naila-Jean Meyers said in a statement. “It is time for writers who are consistently and expertly telling the stories of female athletes to have an award of their own.”

The award launches at a time of unprecedented investment in women’s sports and as TV ratings continue to soar. In professional soccer, the NWSL has grown to 15 teams, adding Bay FC and Utah Royals FC this year and with a Boston team debuting in 2026. The WNBA expanded to 13 teams after awarding an expansion team to the Golden State Warriors to begin play in 2025. At the college level, the NCAA and ESPN reached a new broadcast deal in January that brings significantly more money to the women’s basketball tournament.

As excitement builds toward March Madness, the WNBA draft and this summer’s Olympics in Paris, the coverage of women’s and girls’ sports promises to be robust, dynamic and engaging. The Billie Jean King Award for Excellence in Women’s Sports Coverage could not have come at a more opportune time.

APSE’s contest is open to all media outlets and individuals involved in sports writing, including newsletters and collegiate media. The entry deadline is March 31. More details can be found at APSE’s website.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Billie Jean King Award will honor excellence in women's sports coverage