Heads I am Cheated, Tails You Owe Me Something

Read this story, and then imagine if the facts had been reversed:

"A sports conference that always scheduled weekday basketball doubleheaders in which women's teams played the first game -- letting the men play in the later time slot -- has altered the practice, after an anonymous sex discrimination complaint charged that this made the women's games appear to be a "warm-up" act for the men's games.

Now, hoping to avoid possible gender equity suits, other athletic conferences are considering similar scheduling changes.  Last month, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference announced that it would alternate from season to season the order in which men's and women's teams would play in doubleheaders. The men will play first this season, and the women will play first next season.

Dell Robinson, the conference commissioner, said the decision was made after the league received an inquiry in March from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. An anonymous complaint filed with the agency argued that the negative connotation conveyed by always having women's teams play first in these doubleheaders was detrimental to women's athletics."

So let's imagine a alternate world where women's basketball games had always traditionally been played in the second game of the double-header, after men's games.  Does anyone believe that the civil rights folks wouldn't have filed a complaint saying

Having women's games always played after men's games makes them appear to be an after-thought to the main contest, positioning the game later in the prime social hours where potential student fans will be more likely to leave early and head to the bar instead of staying to watch.  The negative connotation conveyed by always having women't teams play last in these doubleheaders is detrimental to women's athletics.

See, its easy to be a race/gender advocate.


  1. Reformed Republican:

    The women's games seem like a warm-up because hardly anyone is interested in them. Changing the time slot will not make women's sports interesting.

  2. Sean2829:

    What about the NBA vs. the WNBA, there's real money involved there. I'm sure if the WNBA was in the winter and the NBA moved to the summer, the ladies teams would sell orders of magnetude more tickets than they do now. Where do I file the class action suit?

  3. MJ:

    They can order the games any way they like, as long as I'm still free to leave when I get bored. Empty seats are a YP, not an MP.

  4. Sean2829:

    One other thing, remember when African American Men's college basketball coaches protested the fact that the women's team had one more scholarship allotted in Division 1A ball. They merely wanted an equal number scholarships even though the mens games were much better attended. The guys lost that one too.

  5. DJB:

    The women's game first, men's second had been the pattern for the homecoming game at my younger brothers high school for years. Then this same argument was made. Support for the decision was based on the attendance to the women's game being almost equal to the attendance of the men's game and that this was clear evidence of equal draw and support for the women, so why not have them be the second game. The result was a mass exodus from the gym after the men's homecoming game. It turns out, as many had predicted, the reason for the large attendance for the women's game was the advantage of good seating for the men's game.

  6. Sameer:

    The reason why the women play first is because otherwise everyone would leave after the first game. This is going to have disastrous results. No one is going to stick around to see the women play.

  7. Not Sure:

    "No one is going to stick around to see the women play."

    This is totally irrelevant to the intended point- the women are being marginalized. Doesn't matter how- they just are.

  8. brazil84:

    "The reason why the women play first is because otherwise everyone would leave after the first game. This is going to have disastrous results. No one is going to stick around to see the women play."

    I agree 100%. The only womens' sports anyone is interested in is (1) sports which emphasize grace, like figure skating; and (2) sports in which the women are somewhat attractive and wear revealing clothing, like tennis or sand volleyball.

    If it were volleyball, you could get people to watch the womens' game by putting the ladies in bikinis. The trouble with basketball is that most of the good female players are black and (generally speaking) black women are physically unattractive.

  9. Craig:

    Next, they will lock the doors of the gym after the men's game to force people to stay and watch the women.

  10. brazil84:

    "Next, they will lock the doors of the gym after the men’s game to force people to stay and watch the women."

    I was thinking that myself. Although I doubt anyone will propose it, I would not be surprised at all if they add a surcharge to the price of the ticket which you can get back if you stay to the end of the womens' game.

  11. marco73:

    Only a few years back, my daughter was on a basketball team at a small high school. The girls schedule was usually single games, in front of 50 or so parents and friends. Whenever possible, the athletic director would schedule triple headers: boys JV, girls varsity, then boys varsity. The girls would find themselves playing in front of several hundred fans, and were certainly fired up by the crowd. Of course some parents complained about 3 games in a row making it a long day, so its back to single games in an almost empty gym. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

  12. jay:

    This is what happens when government action is invoked or threatened to modify people's to fit some ideological concept. Ignoring the bit snarky comments above, but still there are women's sports that are well attended and popular and those that are not. Some sports women bring more to than men (gymnastics, figure skating, and surprisingly roller derby), some are more neutral (golf, tennis, skiing), and some (basketball, football) usually work better for men. And please, no men's figure skating.

    Let the audience decide with their ticket purchase, not some ideologically driven bureaucrat.

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