Where Can I Find Good Coverage of Women’s Sports?

You might know from some of my posts that I’m a fan of women’s (and men’s) sports.  But it’s always been frustrating for me to find the results of women’s events.  CNN.com is my primary source for sports but there is almost no women’s coverage there.  On its main sports page, CNN has these tab headings: NFL, College Football, Major Leage Baseball, NBA, College Basketball, Golf, NHL, Racing, Soccer, Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing, Tennis, and “More.”  Under College Basketball, there is no coverage of women’s NCAA basketball or of the WNBA.  Under Golf, there is no coverage of the LPGA.  Under Soccer, there is no coverage of the WPS.  Tennis is the only specific sport tab that has a subheading (the WTA) for a women’s sport.

And so, other than for tennis, you have to go to “More” in CNN.com to find anything about women’s sports, where it lists Olympics, Track and Field, Figure Skating, Women’s College Basketball, and the WNBA.  Pretty pathetic, isn’t it?  Don’t you think that CNN could at least have a main heading of Women’s Sports, even though that would still be woefully inadequate compared to the men’s headings.  (The coverage within those “More” women’s headings is still inadequate, of course, but I’m only talking about the headings for now.)

ESPN.com is my secondary source for sports news and it is not much better than CNN.com.  ESPN’s main headings are NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NASCAR, Soccer, and “More Sports.”  But it at least has a heading for women’s basketball under NCAA Basketball.  Again, almost the sole coverage of women’s sports is under “More Sports,” where it lists Women’s Basketball, but nothing else specific at that level other than “espnW.”

Somehow I had never known of espnW until this morning when I read a short comment about it in the sports pages of my local newspaper.  The comment said it is where ESPN focuses on women’s sports.  That sounded good–I thought–a single site where I could go to get coverage of all women’s sports.  Alas, it was not to be.  When I went to espnW, the tag said: “Online Destination for Female Sports Fans and Athletes.”  In other words, this is not a site in which to find total coverage of women’s sports.  Instead, it is a site for females to go to read about sports-related things that (according to ESPN) interest females.  My take on this meaning was confirmed by the main categories on the site.  They were WNBA, Tennis, Golf, Women’s World Cup, and Major Leage Baseball.  Major League Baseball has no female players, of course, and many of the articles about other sports are about male athletes.  And, so, this site is as I suspected–a site that writes about what it thinks females are interested in.  Being a male and feminist, I feel somewhat bad about not being in the target audience, but, if it gave me the game and competition results that I’m looking for, that wouldn’t matter.

Then the stereotyping of espnW really kicks in.  Seemingly a majority of the articles are not about the results of games and competitions, but about what the old ABC TV coverage of the Olympic games would call “Up Close and Personal.”  This has been the long-held stereotypical view of women that they don’t care about sports per se but only about the personal side of sports.  A little of that is fine, but, to me, it has to be secondary to the actual results.

And, so, I will not be adding espnW to my bookmarks.  I guess it’s a step in the right direction, but, really, it’s only continuing stereotypical thinking about women’s sports.  But I encourage you to look at the site and let me know if you think it’s a good step.  And, if you know of any good sites, please, please, let me know that too.  I want to go to a main site that has coverage of all sports, men and women.  I don’t want to have to go to one site for the WNBA, another for the WPS, etc.

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Women’s Hockey at the Winter Olympics

I happened to catch a glimpse of the Today Show this morning.  The segment was about Julie Chu, who is expected to be a member of the U.S. women’s hockey team at the Vancouver Winter Olympics starting in February, and who has been one of the highest goal scorers in the world.  What I found interesting was that they used a high-speed camera to dissect Chu’s form, power, and speed when taking a shot on goal.  In my opinion, this is much better than TV’s normal approach to covering women athletes–concentrating on the “up close and personal.”

It’s certainly possible that the rest of the segment was all about the up close and personal.  And I’m all for anything that brings more fans to women’s athletics.  But it’s nice to see that NBC, which has to entice viewers to watch its coverage of the games, has seen fit at least in this case to show the actual physical components of a women’s sport.

Any Publicity is Good Publicity?

I guess this might qualify under the adage of “any publicity is good publicity”?  ESPN certainly avoids covering women’s sports on its SportsCenter news broadcasts.   But it found the time to show part of the women’s soccer game between BYU and New Mexico.  The reason?  Because, as the video below is captioned, there was a “cat fight.”  The actions in the video are really deplorable, but I wonder when was the last time that SportsCenter showed any highlights of a women’s college soccer game?

 

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNmPybFK2_o&feature=player_embedded]

Women’s Golf and Rugby Added to 2016 Olympic Games

When I saw the headline that golf and rugby are being added to the 2016 Olympic games, my first thought was whether it is for both men and women.  I was pleased (and surprised) to read that it is for both women and men and that the number of participants appears to be the same for both women and men.  So the IOC has learned some lessons.

On the other hand, this is what an IOC member from Tunisia had to say about the addition of three women’s weight classes in boxing for the 2012 games:

You may accuse me of old fashioned. I have difficulty imagining young women [with] good figures, who are going to be victims of punches and who will have black eyes, who will maybe bleed, who will receive maybe hard knocks on their breasts, which are meant to feed babies. I would hate to see women hurt and maybe faint in the ring. But I will vote in favor of the decision taken by the executive board.

Yes, I think he might be accused of being “old fashioned.”