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October 13, 2004

Comments

JM

Congrats on the furry status upgrade! I was going to comment but rambled on so...thus the trackback.

JM

You know, I think when the Times was saying "in any pro league," they meant "in any pro BASKETBALL league" and just didn't qualify it. But who knows...media interest in/knowledge of women's sports is pathetic (for various reasons, some legitimate).

Hugo

Not so, JM: see the Seattle Times. The WUSA gets no respect...

JM

Gee, that's what I get for giving someone the benefit of the doubt. :) I'm sure the soccer players out there, not to mention the pro volleyball players and their league, are just thrilled at how much their sports matter.

Col Steve

Hugo -
Title IX is slightly over 30 years old now. Before Title IX that there were generally clear delineations between men's and women's programs at the collegiate level with women dominating the coaching positions in the women's teams - albeit those programs were probably grossly unequal in status and resources compared with the men's. Title IX merged the departments which has helped with the team participation inequalities, but also meant a centralization of the athletic departments under (I suspect) older, white, men and a resulting decline in the number of women coaches.

Filling coaching vacancies as in many other profession is often done through informal networking. You have to get more women as ADs in addition to encouraging more female coaches at the youth level. One would think as the first generation or two of Title IX women college athletes now reach the point of competing for AD positions, that a rise in the gender mix will also result in more females under consideration for coaching positions.

Lots of statistics here:

http://webpages.charter.net/womeninsport/

To your point about dad's coaching their daughters' team - you don't include the co-ed team perspective. My wife and I lost our fight to get our 6 year old (along with the parents of her friend) to play on the "boy's team". The league rule ended co-ed teams at 1st grade and would not grant an exception despite the fact the team consisted of kids who had played together for two years without any injuries, the two girls were considered to have equal or better skills than the boys, and a host of other arguments (sending the wrong message, studies about pre-puberty, mixed gender teams, etc.). When we moved to a more accomodating league, I noticed most of the girls on the co-ed teams had their dads as coaches in part to provide "overwatch" as the co-ed teams generally are still skewed toward the boys. Of course, this doesn't nullify your point on "moms" coaching the team, but I think it's an additional factor to consider - unless you think we should not have co-ed teams (at least in soccer) for pre-pubescent kids.

Hugo

As you do so often, Col. Steve, you take my musings and ground them in fact and in far more thoughtful observations. Thanks.

Stentor

The answer, I think, is to encourage more women to coach their daughters' soccer teams in elementary schools.

We should encourage them to coach their sons' teams as well. It strikes me that having a female coach could do some good in changing boys' attitudes toward women in leadership roles.

Hugo

Fair enough, Stentor.

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