Basketball: Should women play after men?

It seems more and more these days we are changing aspects we have known for so long to try and push “equality”. Sometimes it can be simple things, but the bottom line…..if it’s been this way for men then it can be the same way for women. Is this true in all cases? I first want to make it clear that I am not a sexist human being in anyway and my intentions here are not to make myself appear that way.

Ever since I was a little fella, excited to get the chance to go watch the high school teams play, I can remember going to basketball games and watching the girls play before the boys capped off the night with a contest of their own. It doesn’t matter what level I was watching, the women were first. That’s only proper, right? I grew up being taught that women get served first, women are saved first, you let women walk through the door first, you hold the door for women, etc. These are all characteristics of being a gentlemen…..or so I thought.

In the world we live in today people are offended over little things. Things have changed so much in my 25 years in this world. I can’t even begin to imagine what people older than me think about today’s world. We are beginning to push things for the wrong reasons. This is beginning to be the same in sports. In 1972 Title XI was formed. While the original had not mention of sports, the statute is best known for its impact on high school and college athletics.

On Tuesday the Cascade Collegiate Conference, a charter member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), announced its basketball schedules for the upcoming season. The conference, which has traditionally had its women scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. tip and the men at 7:30 p.m., will play the men’s contests in the early game and the women late for the first half of the season. The genders will switch time slots for the second half of the season.

Some say revenues will take a hit because less people attend the women’s contest. Others will argue that the women see a lower attendance because people struggle to get off work to make the 5:30 game on time. For a long time, the late game has been considered the “prime time” slot….few would disagree. Some sports fans will argue the men’s games should be the late game because it closes the night with a more fast-paced contest then the women play in the early game.

This has been done before, but mostly on a program per program basis. South Sioux City High School in Nebraska moved its girls games to the nightcap when they were the most dominant team in the state, winning 10 of 11 state championship from 1995-2005. They had an issue with fans showing up early to watch the girls play and then leave before the boys, who were not as successful, could play.

Perhaps the most successful team should get the prime time slot. If you are looking at this as a conference then we can look into the history of the conference. In the CCC, both the men and women have been represented in the national championship game five times since the NAIA went to split divisions in 1992. The women’s side saw three national championships in consecutive years (Western Oregon in 1995 & 1996 and Northwest Nazarene in 1997). The year prior Western Oregon finished as the runner-up and in 1995 WOU topped conference foe Northwest Nazarene for the national crown. Albertson College (now College of Idaho) was the last team to represent the conference in the championship game in 2001. Western Oregon and Northwest Nazarene are both now members of NCAA Division II, leaving College of Idaho (formerly Albertson College) as the only current member to have made it to a national championship game in the last two decades.

On the men’s side, the conference has had a national champion crowned three times (Albertson College in 1996 and Oregon Tech in 2004 & 2008), while Northwestern Nazarene finished as national runner-up in 1995 and Oregon Tech did the same in 1998. This means the conference has two current schools that have reached the national championship game on four occasions in the last two decades.

If that isn’t enough for you to decide, the conference has been represented by a womens team currently in the conference 22 times and posting a 13-22 record with a runner-up finish. The men have represented the conference 26 times, while posting a 41-26 mark in the national tournament. Some will argue that the majority of the positive tournament record comes from Oregon Tech (27-10 in national tournament play). While this is true, if you eliminate Tech from the equation the conference record falls to 14-16. The .467 winning percentage is still better than the women’s .371 winning percentage in the season ending tournament.

It will be interesting to see if the attendance report will show major changes between the first half and the second half of the season. We cannot be certain how it will be affected without testing the new method.

Every time I look back to my roots and how I was raised, this doesn’t seem right. Women are first…they always have been. It is not a dominance thing, rather a proper thing. Look at the ratings of Men’s College Basketball vs Women’s College Basketball or the NBA vs WNBA on television. Who are watched more?

I am not saying this is wrong, but it seems odd. Is women’s basketball better to be played in the early game or will it benefit from being in the late game?

It’s not for me to decide, but time will tell….

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2 thoughts on “Basketball: Should women play after men?

  1. Anna

    I guess we’ll all really see if women’s sports did take a hit. if the men are now at 5:30, they will also take this hit.

    I also agree with you 100% of this. I’m all about equality but when is it enough? People always want to complain about something.

  2. Eric

    I understand the premise, but I don’t know if I like the political correctness. As someone who has been and assistant women’s coach the past two years, with the 5:30/7:30 format, it was frustrating when people wouldn’t show up until around halftime. Some of it was because the guys were after, but some was because of the time. Fortunately, if it was a close game down to the wire, the fans would be in the gym, which the players on the court will feed off of.

    One of my big fears with the women following the men is that more are going to leave the gym before the women’s game even starts, instead of seeing at least part of it. It will also kill the competitive advantage of a team playing on their home court.

    Lets face it, women’s games are less attended because they aren’t as entertaining. While there is a select few of us who love the sport, I feel like this will greatly cut the overall attendance down. I hope I’m wrong for the young ladies who are playing.


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