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Women's College Basketball: First Among Unequals

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Deeper_Background, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    It's a college hoops tradition: you play the women's game in the late afternoon, then the fans show up and you play the men's game. Is this a civil rights violation?

    The Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference received an inquiry from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, after receiving a complaint that the women were getting shafted by always having the opening game. The complaint was anonymous, but came from "a special interest group" that has been tackling similar issues in high school sports.

    The GLIAC decided to make changes before any official moves were made, and will now alternate from season to season which team plays first. It's "not worth the fight," the conference commissioner said.

    There are fears that if fans come for the early men's game, they won't stick around. Commissioners are planning to closely follow attendance numbers to see if switching things up is feasible.

    In Divisions II and III, it probably is. Attendance isn't a big deal, even at men's games. But the big show of D1 is a different story, and at many schools the men's basketball program pays for the lion's share of the rest of the sports. Anything that threatens that cash cow's profitability will never fly. And in the end, it wouldn't be good for the women's sports at those schools either.

    But in D-II? Maybe tradition has always had the men playing last. But as the commish said, it's not worth the fight.
  2. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    It wouldn't matter in Division I anyway. How many D-I conferences play women-men doubleheaders?

    This could hit jucos, though the easy solution would probably be play the women's game first on weeknights (5 and 7 p.m. or 6 and 8 p.m.) and the men's game first on Saturdays and Sundays (2 p.m./4 p.m. or 4 p.m./6 p.m.). On weekends, it probably doesn't matter who plays first.
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Something like this happened at the high school level - can't remember the state. Girls hoops advocates bitched and moaned about having to tip off at 6 p.m. and how unfair it was that no one showed up at their games til after halftime.

    State association mandated that games could not start before 7 p.m.

    High school started playing the boys games at 7 p.m. and the girls were still playing in front of nearly empty gyms but now they were lucky if they tipped before 9:30.

    The moral of the story is: You can't force people to watch.

    The other moral of the story is: Don't fuck with a high school athletic department's revenue stream.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Amen, AQB. If the girls' team is good, people will show up.
    Our neck of the woods, there was a high school with a perennially good girls team. Longtime coach who really built the program into a year-in, year-out contender and every few years a Division I prospect. The boys' team, meanwhile, sucked. Never had much tradition, the talent wasn't there and they often got crushed.
    Guess who drew the bigger crowds?
    The girls game would get a decent crowd. Several hundred people a night, and close to a full house for big games. By halftime of the boys game there might have been 100 people scattered around the gym.
  5. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    For years 6-on-6 girls basketball had a huge following at the high school level in Iowa - especially at the small town level (which is about 90 percent of the state). It was one of the last states to switch to 5-on-5 in the late 80s/early 90s.

    According to my dad, when he was a kid it was common to see half the crowd get up and leave after a girls game and the boys would play in a nearly empty gym.
  6. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    We have them here. School does it to boost the crap out of the women's average attendance numbers.
  7. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    There was one county in Georgia, DeKalb, IIRC, that decided that always having the girls play first was unfair, so they switched half their doubleheaders to boys first. Sure enough, the girls got treated to the sight of fans getting up and leaving during their games. Not sure if they still do it that way.
  8. Don't know if they still do, but the MEAC has done this regularly during the conference season within the last decade. For some much-smaller-than-D-I schools (and maybe some of the smallest D-Is) it's not just a revenue issue - it's a travel issue (having both teams play on the same bill and traveling together saves $$$).

    People vote with their feet. You want people to come see your games? Win and entertain.
  9. ucacm

    ucacm Active Member

    When I was in high school, our girls team was awesome. The boys team was mediocre to bad. The girls played an up-tempo style with 40 minutes of press defense. Their games? Always packed. The boys? About half as many people would stay for their games.
  10. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    My alma mater plays in the GLVC, which is the GLIAC's region partner in D2.

    The women's games are always first and 98 percent of the time, it's shitty, shitty basketball.

    Hell, any number of the D2 men's teams are shitty, too.
  11. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    Doesn't anybody play JV anymore?
    Our high schools always had JV, then varsity.
    Tuesday-Friday boys.
    Monday-Thursday girls.
    Isn't that how it is most places?
  12. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Our local TV station in Minnesota used to broadcast the Iowa state girls tournament. It was so cool. First, they had guys in like tuxedos sweeping the floors. Then the Hall of Fame intros they had during the tourney were always epic, because they had people with just outrageous numbers.

    "She scored 7,879 points in the 1979 season and finished with 16,987 points in her career."

    Or this guy:

    706-80 in his career, 333-8 at home.
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