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Training Rules

Training Rules examines how women's collegiate sports, caught in a web of homophobic practices, colludes in the destruction of the lives and dreams of many of its most talented athletes.

We have made a streaming version of the film, in its entirety, available here for viewing:

More about this Film:

Overview | Awards | Film Credits | Discussion Guide


Rene Portland had three training rules during her 26 years coaching basketball at Pennsylvania State University—no drinking, no drugs and no lesbians. Training Rules examines how a wealthy athletic department, enabled by the silence of a complacent university, allowed talented athletes, thought to be gay, to be dismissed from their college team.

In 2006, student athlete Jennifer Harris, in conjunction with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, filed charges against Pennsylvania State University and basketball coach Rene Portland for discrimination based on sexual orientation. This lawsuit inspired others whose lives were shattered during Coach Portland's reign to come forward. The film focuses on these individuals and investigates why organizations, established to protect these athletes have done so little to end this common form of victimization.

Training Rules serves as a wake-up call to the many athletic departments nationwide that still discriminate against their student athletes and coaches.

Read more: No Drinking, No Drugs, No Lesbians: How Homophobia Still Rules in Sports by Dee Mosbacher at the Huffington Post

Format: DVD
Year: 2008
Running Time: 60 minutes


Film Credits

A Woman Vision Production

Discussion Guide

Training Rules: A Discussion Guide written and revised by Pat Griffin and Emily Galpern

The primary purpose of this discussion guide is to a) help participants understand how both overt and subtle forms of homophobia and heterosexism affect college women's athletics and b) begin to think about what can be done to challenge it. Supplemental activities are intended to c) encourage fair treatment of all women in college athletics regardless of sexual orientation, and d) identify specific actions athletes, coaches and administrators can take to address heterosexism and homophobia in college women's athletics.

Download Discussion Guide