Women's Basketball: Is Lowering the Hoop the Answer?

BlogHer Original Post

It is no secret that men's basketball has a larger audience than women's basketball does. You can say, "No! No! Really! Our high school girls team is the state champ! We sell out every game!" and that may be true -- but deep down inside you know that this is an exception and not a rule. Men's basketball does better at every level: little league, junior high, high school, college, professional and international.

I guess that's why FIBA -- the International Basketball Federation, or Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball -- is considering lowering the hoop in the women's game. FIBA wants to see if it will make the women’s game more "attractive." *seethes* At the first-ever women's basketball summit, FIBA also discussed new uniforms to appeal to a wider audience.

Now, before I completely flip my lid, I should let you know that FIBA and the International Olympic Committee already have smaller balls for the women's game.

"The game as it is is a good game, but we have a large majority of women's basketball players that don't have that size and there are questions whether the game is as attractive as it really could be if you were able to play over the basket rather than under the basket." -- via Karlovy Vary

Do people really believe that I watch basketball for the dunks? If that were the case, I would watch the annual slam-dunk contest and just watch hockey for the rest of basketball season. NO! That isn't why I watch men or women's basketball. I watch basketball because I love the game. I buy tickets because I like basketball. Playing over the basket is great, but it is not going to determine where I spend my money.

When it comes to women's basketball, Jayda Evans always says it best.

Say what? To be frank, this has to be the stupidest idea I've ever heard at this point in the women's game. What needs to happen globally is attention to coaching or maybe more cooperation with the WNBA so that more international stars could play in a league with the world's best. Then skill would improve and that would draw more appeal globally. Lowering the rim? For what? A cheap dunk? Please. FIBA should know by now that the game of basketball is more than dunking. A wicked crossover or three-pointer can be just as exciting -- especially if in a close game that seals a victory. Just ask any Sue Bird fan.

As a feminist, I am insulted. FIBA is suggesting that girls can't handle the big balls (no pun intended) and women can't play over the net. Oh really? Let's ask Brittney Griner.

Brittney Griner shoots the ball. Baylor defeated Georgetown 49-33 in the second round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, California on March 22nd, 2010 Photo via Newscom

I am not going to sit here and tell you that women and men are exactly the same, any five year old in a bathtub could tell you different. What I will say and what I do believe is that women's basketball is doing just fine with the basket where it is. Lowering the hoop cheapens the ladies's game. I have a much better idea on a way to make the women's game more attractive: Show it some damn respect.

BlogHer Contributing Editor Sarah can also be found at Sarah and the Goon Squad, Draft Day Suit and MamaPop.

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