Why Can’t Women’s Sports Be Like Men’s Sports?

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While watching the Women’s World Cup in soccer today, I decided yet again to raise a familiar question. Why don’t people follow women’s sports like men’s sports? Before I even started thinking about formulating something of an answer, I decided I would not make arguments that cast the distinction in strictly biological terms. I think they exist, but I don’t think they’re nearly as integral to the issue as we might think. Our visceral reaction to the action going on before us may provide information that is far more helpful. With this being said, I know a few sports fans that will be following this season of women’s basketball games and no doubt will have their women’s printable bracket chart printed out, ready to make their predictions on who they think will win each game. These are the sorts of fans we need for every women’s sport and sports in general.

Women’s sports tend to emphasize teamwork and basic fundamentals. Men’s sports are usually focused on skill players and a deliberately flashier style of play. That’s why you see things similar to Top Ankle Compression Sleeve for Men being advertised more than the women’s counterpart. There’s more emphasis on men’s sports for them to push to the limit and that can have the side-effect of more joint pain. However it all seems worth it for the male sportsman to do crazy things and catch the viewer’s attention. The eye of the bystander has been trained to expect and follow dramatic action. Whether it is a star receiver who never drops a catch or a baseball pitcher with a 100 mph fastball, sports fans expect to be wowed, thrilled, and entertained. Superstars are supposed to stand out from the rest of the pack and win either our adoration or our derision. Greater attention on the playing field means more money and increased fame. So, because of all this, there’s a great incentive present to be in the public eye and stay there.

With women athletes, the stakes are not quite so high. With no financial advantage in the form of multi-million dollar salaries, coveted awards, or even appearances in film and television, women athletes see no compelling need to showboat. However, this means women’s sports are often perceived as much less visually exciting by an audience accustomed to men’s sports. Men’s sports have been marketed for decades to appeal to the widest possible audience. The rules are routinely tweaked to increase, maintain, and grow audience interest. In a massive understatement, men’s sports are a very lucrative business. If you’re interested in sports betting, check out 토토사이트

Advertising techniques have also been actively introduced to sell the game. I should state here that I’m not suggesting female athletes should consider resorting to the same tactics. If I were wise enough to propose a solution, I’d try to find a way that preserves a unique female standard of play and ethos while making a few reforms here and there to be more in line with their male counterparts.

Above all, the commercialization of men’s sports is one reason why women’s sports do not enjoy the same popularity. Reversing the lengthy trend of commercialism in any area is extremely difficult, if not impossible. In the beginning, men’s sports focused more on teamwork and less on individual grandstanding. Early styles of football focused on the ground game and the brute strength needed to cross the goal line. The forward pass was an invention not embraced fully until the Twenties. The shape of the ball was modified from the large, oval, rugby shape designed for quick sideways pitches to one more favorable to forward throwing.

Passing the ball is more exciting to the viewing audience than running the ball. The same paradigm shift was also true with baseball. The early days of the game were those of hard-hit singles and doubles, which necessitated a strong infield and cooperation between players. When players like Babe Ruth started hitting home runs instead, the audience was thrilled by the change, and the entire strategy of the game quickly became very different.

In men’s soccer, particularly at its most competitive levels, players often fake injuries to draw penalties. This is less prevalent in women’s soccer and may simply be an aspect of hyper-competitiveness. Wealth is a powerful incentive. Men draw much larger salaries and can compete for longer in their lives. The pay for women’s sports is much lower and as a result, women can’t afford to subsist on it. Women’s players tend to be much younger and have much shorter careers. In men’s sports, it’s possible to follow the progress of a favorite player for years. This is not always the case with women’s sports.

Ultimately, to greater parity, fans will have to change a little and the game will need to be modified, too. There may be no way to preserve the purity that exists when big money does not infiltrate sports. To obtain gender equality within sports, one might have to make a Faustian bargain or two. Instead of asking Why can’t women’s sports be more like men’s sports, I might pose something else entirely. Why would you want them to be?


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  1. the sport (often to any sport or exercise at all) more often by coaches / schools/ formal settings, than from street play in the neighborhood, therefore they play a more controlled  team oriented game, as opposed to the flashy / more athletic / and, yes, more creative play found in mens FIFA or NBA, where they were already learned many moves / skills before they ever met a coach.

    If you look at 1950s mens NBA basketball, this was then the case for the men–plodding and coach controlled, rather than individually creative. It would seem very boring to most of us today.  Sports can be individually expressive, but with top down control over the athletes that doesn’t occur as much.

    Of course, this is not so in all sports–see the individual sports like skiing or surfing, even tennis, or the less controlled sports like women’s volleyball.

    (I don’t know about you, but I watch the athletes, not the GMs, or staff, owners, or coaches)

    So, for me at least, I’d say–yes the women’s game’s of football/basketball, etc,  do need to be more like the men’s–less controlled, more innovative.  

  2. Obviously there are some women who are very fanatical.

    I guess maybe someone should do a formal gender study to ask people their feelings about sports.  My expectation would be that women probably don’t care as much about sports as men.  But I would be interested in a gender study to see whether I am right or wrong.

  3. They are produced side-by-side, with roughly the same quality of announcers, and the same quality of play.

    The WNBA, also, ain’t half bad.  I  remember this thing called “girls basketball,” where there was an inside defending ring, an outer offensive ring that passed the ball all day until someone felt like making (and missing) a shot. Now, a woman goes in for a lay-up, she’s going to make the lay-up.  The scores have gone way up, it’s roughly the same game.

    The problem is that the promotion and presentation hasn’t kept pace with the game.

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