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Browner
23-08-14, 13:08
If women's sport trust are pushing this agenda, and the BBC are seemingly willing to put their might behind the campaign, then when will it happen?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/28893248

irishref
23-08-14, 14:08
Can't see it happening in the XVx game myself - outside of the (wonderfully entertaining) World Cup every few years I simply don't think there's enough interest to warrant it. I know the women's 6 Nations is increasing in popularity with each year, but professional also means the club game would need to be prof and that simply doesn't have the ground level support I think.

Also, things may be a lot rosier for the UK teams and France, but the other strong nations like USA, Canada, NZ and Aus have enough issues with the professional mens game, never mind the women's game! Did I hear some weird snippet along the lines that the Aussie ladies had only played 4 test matches between the 2014 and 2010 world cups?

Plus, ladies sevens is professional thanks to Olympic money, that's grabbing the attention and sponsorship!

4eyesbetter
23-08-14, 14:08
A Modest Proposal:

In America there's a thing called Title IX (always referred to with Roman numerals); it's a very simple clause of a law which states the following:



No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.


This is important for sports because Title IX requires schools and universities that take federal funds to provide, as far as is possible, equal sporting opportunities for men and women attending their institutions. (You usually see this mentioned in the context of people bitching about how Title IX destroyed a successful freestyle wrestling team because there weren't enough girls who wanted to do wrestling, while failing to make mention of how in 20 years, female participation skyrocketed from being 7% of all high school athletes to being 41% of all high school athletes - the law has been a massive success in what it aimed to accomplish in this regard.)

So how about if we legislated that any TV broadcaster offering the buy the rights to show a sport had to give an equal amount of TV time and money to both the men's and women's forms of the sport? With the exceptions of tennis and athletics, I can't think of a sport that wouldn't immediately and drastically benefit from having the value of the men's TV rights also available to develop the women's structure...

buff
23-08-14, 14:08
Women's ice hockey has been in a similar situation here. It has, you would think, all the requirements to make professional women's hockey work: Canada is a world powerhouse, skill levels have skyrocketed in the last 20 years, more and more girls are playing despite hockey being expensive to play, the Olympic hockey tournament gets good (and for the gold medal game extremely good) ratings, and of course, hockey is our primary winter sport. However, the semi-pro league that does exist draws few fans, and less sponsorship and media attention. They are barely beyond pay-to-play. The hard reality is that the skill level and speed of the women's club game don't compare to what else is out there for the paying/viewing customer. I can drive 45 minutes across Montreal to pay to sit in a cold local rink to watch the Montreal women's team play, or I can drive 15 minutes up the road to watch elite16/17 year old boys (midget AAA in our jargon) play faster, more intense hockey, or I can go to a university game and watch even better hockey, or sit on my backside and watch the best hockey on the planet on TV.
It would not surprise me if the same thing occurred with rugby in the UK.

OB..
23-08-14, 15:08
At what level are men fully professional?

How does Title IX deal with Synchronised Swimming?

4eyesbetter
23-08-14, 18:08
Only five schools offer synchronised swimming as a varsity sport in college, and it's not sponsored by the NCAA; it appears to be one of the sports that has its base outside educational institutions, so Title IX is not a concern.

Some questions answered, if you're interested in learning more about it: http://espn.go.com/espnw/title-ix/article/7729603/five-myths-title-ix

buff
23-08-14, 21:08
A Modest Proposal:

In America there's a thing called Title IX (always referred to with Roman numerals); it's a very simple clause of a law which states the following:



This is important for sports because Title IX requires schools and universities that take federal funds to provide, as far as is possible, equal sporting opportunities for men and women attending their institutions. (You usually see this mentioned in the context of people bitching about how Title IX destroyed a successful freestyle wrestling team because there weren't enough girls who wanted to do wrestling, while failing to make mention of how in 20 years, female participation skyrocketed from being 7% of all high school athletes to being 41% of all high school athletes - the law has been a massive success in what it aimed to accomplish in this regard.)

So how about if we legislated that any TV broadcaster offering the buy the rights to show a sport had to give an equal amount of TV time and money to both the men's and women's forms of the sport? With the exceptions of tennis and athletics, I can't think of a sport that wouldn't immediately and drastically benefit from having the value of the men's TV rights also available to develop the women's structure...

Educational institutions have an obligation to treat all their students fairly. Privately owned television networks/media outlets have no obligation to fund a professional structure for anyone.

4eyesbetter
23-08-14, 21:08
They have that obligation because there's a law that says so. Why not have one of our own? For the benefit of sport and society in general. Kind of what governments are for, in theory at least.

buff
23-08-14, 22:08
Governments can't create demand by fiat. If that were the case women's university sports in the US would be as well attended and and have the same viewership as men's (we're talking same sport here; we'll leave gridiron out). They have neither. No viewers means no sponsors, and that means no profit. Bell Media would never, ever recoup the billions they paid to the NHL for tv rights in Canada if they had to invest the even a fraction in women's hockey. Unfair? Possibly, but no one has a right to be a professional athlete, and no one ha the right to demand that the paying customer pay your wages.

Now, if you want your tax-supported national broadcaster to get involved, that is a different matter.

4eyesbetter
24-08-14, 00:08
You ever heard of Dick, Kerr's Ladies? They once drew 53,000 to Goodison Park to see them play St Helens. It's a hell of a story. Someone wrote a book about it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick,_Kerr%27s_Ladies

Then they got crapped on and we were left with this stupid cultural idea that there's some sports that girls Just Can't Do, and what they can do is inherently lesser than what men can do. Thing is, you can't properly judge that unless the potential talent pool in any given sport is similar. Otherwise, of course the standard of play is going to look silly and lopsided, because the smaller your talent pool is, the smaller the chance of finding people with the right combination of attributes to be successful.

Overturn the cultural bias, increase the talent pool, increase the quality of play. How do you do that? Model as many examples as possible of women playing sport. Take them seriously. Give them comparable attention to the men. It'll take a generation, but down the road you'll have a product that's improved by several orders of magnitude because it'll look like elite competition. And, if it's more acceptable for women to play sport, then of course it becomes more acceptable for them to watch as well.

It doesn't have to be at a point where a women's team could beat a men's team in direct competition; they just have to look like skilled athletes and then the product will, given adequate opportunity, sell itself in the same way that athletics and tennis do, and women's football used to. And it's not like the intermediate stages are going to be universally played out in front of a crowd of three grannies and a family of loud crickets, either.

This does mean making people do things they might not feel like doing, but if we never did that then we'd still be sending kids up chimneys.

didds
24-08-14, 09:08
really I am only regurgitating what's already been said, but I reckon before the female game can go pro, it has to have a product that can be sold... which means a very vibrant (I am sure it is already!) but PUBLIC view of it. This means (IMO) very regular TV exposure - certainly more than the 2 live games in the 6N we get every year in England which is in real;ity pure luck because the cameras are there for the mens game previously.

How that is so done remains open to debate, but it must surely start with providing the matches for free to production companies, and the programs subsequently being shown at rteal times eg not buried at 12:15 am.

didds

didds

Camquin
25-08-14, 12:08
According to BBC the RFU are to offer 20 pro contracts to England players.
So not fully pro, but the first step, just behind cricket.

didds
25-08-14, 12:08
Are these actually pro contracts, or RFU jobs for 20 players? eg RDOs, CRCs etc ?

didds

ChrisR
25-08-14, 13:08
Here's the story from Planet Rugby:

http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,16024_9439362,00.html

Similar with what the US have in place for 7s using US Olympic money.

Wert Twacky
25-08-14, 14:08
Didds - all pro player contracts. It will be nothing to do with offering them RFU jobs.

Some will be giving up paid full-time employment as CRCs to become pro players, but the majority of these pro players will be 7s.

Browner
26-08-14, 00:08
If women's sport trust are pushing this agenda, and the BBC are seemingly willing to put their might behind the campaign, then when will it happen?


Answer = 2 days later.

Is it enough cash to future attract 2nd division Uk athletics sprinters into the 7's coaching programme ?

crossref
26-08-14, 09:08
really I am only regurgitating what's already been said, but I reckon before the female game can go pro, it has to have a product that can be sold... which means a very vibrant (I am sure it is already!) but PUBLIC view of it. This means (IMO) very regular TV exposure - certainly more than the 2 live games in the 6N we get every year in England which is in real;ity pure luck because the cameras are there for the mens game previously.

How that is so done remains open to debate, but it must surely start with providing the matches for free to production companies, and the programs subsequently being shown at rteal times eg not buried at 12:15 am.

didds

didds

I don't think it was helpful that the world cup final was on Sky sports 4 - - but perhaps they couldn't persuade any free to air broadcaster to carry it. I don't know where the BBC would have put it - BBC2 ? seems unlikely. Perhaps it would be sutiable for ITV4.

Camquin
26-08-14, 10:08
Sky had bought the rights to the entire competition and showed most of the matches.
My daughter and I watched quite a few - though not the final due to other commitments.
We might have gone if we could have got cheap tickets to France.
5 for the game paled into insignificance compared to the 300 to get there and 90 for a hotel room.

There is a dilemma for sporting bodies, do you take the money from a pay broadcaster or the exposure from F2A?
However, if Free to air means ITV4 would you actually get a bigger audience than on Sky?
It was on Radio 5 - along with the Women's cricket.

Camquin

(Typo fixed)

crossref
26-08-14, 11:08
the reality is there is a handful of sports that people pay handsomely to watch but for most sports, the audience and the money aren't really there.

Dickie E
27-08-14, 10:08
Maybe I'm out on a limb here but is it possible people only want to watch the best whatever that may be and aren't too fussed about 2nd string stuff whether it be mens, womens, disabled, GLBTI, people with blue eyes, etc.

Daftmedic
27-08-14, 11:08
I have blue eyes. What are you trying to say Dickie E?

Simon Thomas
27-08-14, 11:08
You ever heard of Dick, Kerr's Ladies? They once drew 53,000 to Goodison Park to see them play St Helens. It's a hell of a story. Someone wrote a book about it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick,_Kerr%27s_Ladies

Then they got crapped on and we were left with this stupid cultural idea that there's some sports that girls Just Can't Do, and what they can do is inherently lesser than what men can do. Thing is, you can't properly judge that unless the potential talent pool in any given sport is similar. Otherwise, of course the standard of play is going to look silly and lopsided, because the smaller your talent pool is, the smaller the chance of finding people with the right combination of attributes to be successful.

Overturn the cultural bias, increase the talent pool, increase the quality of play. How do you do that? Model as many examples as possible of women playing sport. Take them seriously. Give them comparable attention to the men. It'll take a generation, but down the road you'll have a product that's improved by several orders of magnitude because it'll look like elite competition. And, if it's more acceptable for women to play sport, then of course it becomes more acceptable for them to watch as well.

It doesn't have to be at a point where a women's team could beat a men's team in direct competition; they just have to look like skilled athletes and then the product will, given adequate opportunity, sell itself in the same way that athletics and tennis do, and women's football used to. And it's not like the intermediate stages are going to be universally played out in front of a crowd of three grannies and a family of loud crickets, either.

This does mean making people do things they might not feel like doing, but if we never did that then we'd still be sending kids up chimneys.

I recall something like that for 100m, 200m, 400m runners and shot, discuss, javelin throwers in the 1960s & 1970s - DDR sports academies !

By all means create a positive and enabling framework via Government investment and efficient sports governing bodies (a separate thread all of its own) but leave the participation, watching and support to the market - people pay and volunteer as they prefer.

Phil E
27-08-14, 11:08
I have blue eyes. What are you trying to say Dickie E?

Get a room?

Dickie E
27-08-14, 11:08
I have blue eyes. What are you trying to say Dickie E?

I wouldn't pay to watch you playing sport or anything else (unless it involved a small rodent, a tub of vaseline and a roll of duct tape)

Browner
27-08-14, 18:08
I wouldn't pay to watch you playing sport or anything else (unless it involved a small rodent, a tub of vaseline and a roll of duct tape)

Crikey, you have visited yurkshuur.

You' re so out of date, Sport has moved on massively in the last 12 mths.

Dickie E
27-08-14, 22:08
You' re so out of date, Sport has moved on massively in the last 12 mths.

Yeah, probably. I guess let the crowd numbers and the TV ratings do the talking.

It does smell of Emperor's new clothes, though

(and yes, Phil, probably better than the Emperor's old clothes :))