Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: An important message for aspiring sportswomen

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  • Hadyn Green,

    Ok weird, that whole last section should be quoted, not sure what’s going on there.
    EDIT- fixed! Yay to Matt and the Cactus Labs boys!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Anonymous Author,

    We shouldn't feel the need to accomplish things. To exist is enough, unless a cost-benefit analysis indicates otherwise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    Sigh. I took up cricket last year - haven't played in about 20 years so got a little excited and trotted down to the local sports shop. A good one too - run by people who love to watch and play sport. They had this great glossy brochure - made specifically for their store - with all the cricket gear in it. Every page had three or four people modelling the clothes/gear. It ran to about 38 pages.

    And there wasn't one fucking woman in the entire brochure.

    Not one.

    My partner had to stop me from... being extremely rude and spitty.

    So, yeah, Hadyn, you're right, women shouldn't bother playing sport. Because their ability, interest and participation isn't recognised anywhere. I don't expect to see women's sport reflected on the tv (unless of course they're stripping for a calendar), but what about in a shop that's trying to sell me stuff... FFS.

    /End of rant. Tune in next week, etc, etc.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Haydn. Concur. But any minor sport irrespective of gender gets hammered. Anyone note the muted congrats when the All Whites et al were announced last night?

    But. Arise Sir Ryan!

    They get covered if they grunt and umm...get stalked by a jock sports "reporter" (tennis), Throw canonballs (shotput), show good legs (hockey), or row fast with blonde hair (the twins).

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1494 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    Great post Hayden, couldn't agree more.

    You’re no good at it and your accomplishments mean nothing.

    Read: you're too good at it and your accomplishments might eventually mean men's sport has to move over just a tiny tinsy bit to accommodate 'women's sport'. Instead of rugby and women's rugby, cricket and women's cricket, sport and women's sport, ETC, you'd have to have men's sport and women's sport, or just sport that encompassed both equally.

    Play your heart out and be the darlings of the nation for as brief a period as there is between stories about cricket injuries

    Yeah, I hate the daily, hourly, injury up-date for bloke sport broadcast on our state funded radio, let alone the box.

    Reporting: "There's been a massive earthquake in Haiti which has killed thousands and devastated villages with untold damage to infrastructure and threat of disease...But wait, just in; Joe flip flop has torn his stretchy bit and doctors are not sure if he's going to be able to get into his shorts in time for the pre-cup work up that begins in 32 and a half days! This (or __slightly_ more serious versions) is NOT national news and yes its relentless reportage must mean other stuff, like reports of sporting achievements in marginalised 'women's' sport (other than netball) as well as most that goes on in the arts community and other stuff of national significance, doesn't make the cut.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Play for little to no money while you study, work and have children but please do not expect recognition, not from the public, not from the media, not from your peers.

    There's exceptions to this rule though, Netball being the obvious, but I agree with the thesis. I saw a number of the Women's Cricket World Cup games in Australia in 2009 which was a fantastic tournament (particularly the game where beat Australia) but wasn't televised (it did get covered by ABC though).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2229 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I don't give a toss about sports. All of them bore me senseless. I do however get incensed that our national womens' sports teams - who, by and large, are hugely successful and they aren't professional - get so little coverage. Regarding this, and many other things, I have to shake my head in wonder. What year are we in, again?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster,

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Ngaire BookieMonster,

    Again. What year are we in?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    1953 apparently.

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Hmmmm....1953.

    The year after Yvette Williams won the NZ SportsMAN's Trophy.

    Edit.....for the second time BTW. First in 1950.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1494 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Crumbs, mate. It's crumbs.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    The whole 'award for not being completely shit, like everyone expected' thing is a bit irksome.

    So awards are decided by how many people notice, times the expectation of failure, divided by the number of players not available through injury, brackets, it's your turn and you're a boy's team.

    Lets see how this equation looks when Richie's stress fracture doesn't heal, Ali forgets how to lock, and Dan gets a million dollar contract from Victoria Secrets.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Paul Williams,

    There's exceptions to this rule though, Netball being the obvious, but I agree with the thesis. I saw a number of the Women's Cricket World Cup games in Australia in 2009 which was a fantastic tournament (particularly the game where beat Australia) but wasn't televised (it did get covered by ABC though).

    The difference between the two events though that at the cricket world cup - which was actually televised here - there was nobody in attendance. Netball is popular amongst fans and gets televised. So does tennis. So does volleyball in Italy, which is the equivalent of netball here I guess. So do lots of women's events in athletics and the olympics. So does women soccer in some nations, but not others. There are some sports, and they seem to be mostly team sports, where the women's version might have tons of practitioners but doesn't get a following - soccer back home is an example. It's a little chicken and egg, insofar as less media attention can translate into lower attendance figures, but I'm not entirely sure it's such a strict correlation.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7355 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Following on from giovanni...

    If people want to get uptight about the lack of womens sport coverage I suggest they get off their butts and go watch some. There's nothing stopping people going down to local parks and watching females playing sport. There's nothing stopping people writing in to the local TV network and asking that they televise a womens sporting event. And it works, there's been several cases where networks have been pressured into covering events or picking up programmes on the back of public response.

    But hell, they aren't charitable organisations. If it doesn't rate it ain't gonna get shown.

    We all know that for the most part the quality of male sport is vastly superior (not always). So why watch something second rate (often far worse) simply because of their gender? Why not then televise primary school sports because that's a level playing field and it's ageist not to cover it. Why watch the Black Ferns win the WC when I know damn well that my local club senior mens side would beat them by a hundred points?

    yours respectfully
    Devils A.D. Vocate

    Since Nov 2006 • 868 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Yamis,

    There's nothing stopping people going down to local parks and watching females playing sport.

    Actually, the lack of advertising around women's sport is appalling. I know the White Ferns played in Christchurch several times while I lived there, but buggered if I ever saw an ad for it except when they were the warm up for the Black Caps. Hard to go watch something you don't know is happening.

    We all know that for the most part the quality of male sport is vastly superior (not always).

    It's always so nice to be reminded of what I know. Otherwise I might start having thoughts. Like, 'Bullshit'.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    It's always so nice to be reminded of what I know. Otherwise I might start having thoughts. Like, 'Bullshit'.

    When the women's version of a sport is played by amateurs and the men's played by professionals yes, the gulf is pretty obvious. Also, duh! But when they're either both played by amateurs or both played by professionals, I'm buggered if I can tell the difference in quality at the top level (ie the level that gets televised). In some cases - notably tennis - I'd rather watch the women's games. And of course a man in the top 100 might beat a woman in the top 10, that's hardly what constitutes "quality". Marlene Ottey is a manigifcent sprinter, yet for physiological reasons a lot of male plodders could beat her on the track. I'd always much rather watch her run however.

    (And no, it's got nothing to do with the fact that she's the most gorgeous woman ever to have lived. Kind of shot myself in the foot with that example, didn't I?)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7355 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    I knew the White Ferns were playing because I listen to radio sport. If you are interested in watching womens cricket then go and find out when it's played, don't whinge because there was no full page ad in the local paper. I often go to watch club sport in my area and I have to go to the official website and find out the draws and who is playing, where, and when.

    It ain't being broadcast on national TV or radio.

    On "quality" I think it's important not to confuse it with "interesting", or "entertaining". For example, I often find games played by teams I am manageing or helping out with, or local teams I support more interesting or entertaining than professional games. But the quality is certainly far, far worse than the top stuff.

    But in some instances the quality of womens sport is very good. The skill level and fitness is damn high and this is often evident in the number of spectators. ie womens tennis and netball.

    How's the NZ mens netball team going?

    Since Nov 2006 • 868 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Can you imagine the hue and cry if Richie got pregnant this year and couldn't make the World Cup? It's just taken as read that if a Silver Fern is pregnant, the team moves on and picks another.

    A letter to the ED this morning in the DomPost talking about how much of the back page was taken over by Richie's sore toe and complaining about the lack of coverage of the Black Sticks games against Korea on at the moment.

    It's not us. It's the rugby mad f*&king jocks!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1494 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Galvani, in reply to Yamis,

    People don’t watch sports for the quality (i guess you mean skill) of participants. They watch it to see who wins. Horse racing has a huge audience yet they don’t show greater skill at running a distance than other animals and humans.
    An exciting game is where teams or individuals are closely matched and have a lot at stake. The audience is excited because they predict the outcome at the beginning of the game and remain excited while the outcome is precarious.
    The audience is not really interested in the skill or display – the outcome is the most important thing. No one is going to watch a game if they can’t know the end result.
    People don’t watch sport just to see displays of skill and games displaying less skill are not necessarily less interesting. And so you can’t say the lack or support for women’s teams is because of a difference in quality.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Amy Galvani,

    People don’t watch sports for the quality (i guess you mean skill) of participants. They watch it to see who wins.

    Actually, I'm going to have to partially disagree there. I went to early Phoenix games with every intention of cheering and enjoying but in the end the quality of the games was just brutal compared to what I had been accustomed to. Parochialism and gambling and cheering for a family member are all factors but there is in fact an aesthetic dimension in sport.

    And so you can’t say the lack or support for women’s teams is because of a difference in quality.

    So why is it? Is it really because the games are not advertised? I can readily find out where my son is playing every saturday, how hard can it be to find out when the white ferns are playing?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7355 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Yamis,

    I knew the White Ferns were playing because I listen to radio sport. If you are interested in watching womens cricket then go and find out when it’s played, don’t whinge because there was no full page ad in the local paper. I often go to watch club sport in my area and I have to go to the official website and find out the draws and who is playing, where, and when.

    But that's the problem, see. I'm a casual sports fan. I will go occasionally if I am reminded there is a game on. You're arguing women's sport should be restricted to people actively seeking it, because, what, men's teams deserve to attract casual sports fans and women's teams don't?

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    I will go occasionally if I am reminded there is a game on. You're arguing women's sport should be restricted to people actively seeking it, because, what, men's teams deserve to attract casual sports fans and women's teams don't?

    It seems a weak argument to me. To have casual fans at the fringes you need to have hard core fans somewhere too. One thing I used to do when I lived next to the Basin Reserve was going to see state championship cricket occasionally. The games were advertised on radio sport, with regular updates and spots of commentary. Even so, players regularly outnumbered the crowd and sometimes my son and I would be the only people on the stands. Oh, and attendance was free.

    If a sport can't attract an audience, any audience, without promotion, no amount of promotion amongst the casual fans will make it attractive.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7355 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    (Which maybe takes us away from the point of Hadyn's post, which might have been (?) a comment on the exclusion of the world cup winning women's rugby team from Halberg consideration perhaps? On that front it might be worth noting that since 2001 women have won the supreme award six times out of ten.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7355 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    On the quality argument, although I enjoy watching individual brilliance, its usually the closeness of the contest and the drama that I crave (which is also about some sense of connection). I watch quite a lot of sport, televised and in person, men's and women's, and if my team's not playing the fact that the best players are isn't enough to make me watch unless it's also a close or significant game.

    I went to several of the ICC Women's cricket matches in 2009 and the quality of play was superb. Yes women will bowl a little slower (than Shane Bond but not necessarily Jacob Oram) and hit fewer sixes, but the margin isn't hugely significant and their skill is still far superior to even the better graded men. The games weren't terribly well attended as Gio but the trans Tasman Netball is as is the women's Basketball is (and both are televised).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2229 posts Report Reply

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