Fair Play?

The discrepancies between male and female sports

The+back+of+the+student+section+at+the+Monarch+girls%27+basketball+game+on+February+10th+against+Fairview.

The back of the student section at the Monarch girls' basketball game on February 10th against Fairview.

Howler Staff

In 1972 Title IX was passed by the US government to give women equal opportunities in school sports. Women now have equal opportunities in athletics, especially at a college and high school level. However, this does not mean that athletics are equal for men and women.

Recently, while reporting on Monarch’s basketball games, members of the Howler staff have noticed glaring differences between the fan base at the boys’ basketball games and the girls’ basketball games.

This was the case at the most recent of the basketball games on February 10th when both teams played Fairview. The girls had the home game and the boys were away. There were about 300 students at the boys’ game whereas the student section at the girls’ game was populated by only a few people, one of which was the Howler’s reporter.

The boys tend to have strong student section support, whereas the girls often only have a small student section with a few fans.There have been games where the girls have had overwhelming support, such as with the Broomfield pink-game to support counselor Mary Power. However, student fans drove all the way to Fort Collins to support the boys at an away game against Fossil Ridge while the girls had only a small student section in their home game against Fossil Ridge.

This fan base does not dictate success, though. According to Maxpreps the girls’ basketball team is currently ranked 4th in the state and 124th in the nation, whereas the boys’ team is 15th in the state and 785th in the nation. If the girls’ team is doing so well, then where are all the fans?

Could this all boil down to gender bias? The view ingrained into our society, a society of both men and women, that men are simply better at some things and deserve more credit.

As a gender, women have historically been working very hard to gain equality through both the eyes of the law as well as the eyes of society. The attitudes that are seen in events such as the phenomenon that occurs between attendance at boys’ basketball compared to girls’ basketball could very well be considered one of the reasons that this equality is still far from being reached. Actions speak louder than words and the actions of Monarch’s student section are broadcasting a message loud and clear about our values.

The issue is not Monarch basketball. This is a national issue and is evident in the television statistics of NBA vs WNBA games. According to Sidelines the WNBA gets on average 413,000 views for a single game, compared to about 1.4 million for a NBA game. The NBA and the WNBA are different in more ways than high school basketball is. The women don’t dunk as much, and the speed of play is slower. However, at high school games, the play is relatively the same. This can not be called a case of “Boys’ basketball is more interesting” because both the boys and girls are playing the exact same sport with equal competition and equal amounts of excitement in their game.

We are a journalism entity. Our job as journalists is not only to support our school but also to report the truth and the sad truth is that our student section for the girls’ game was slim.

The purpose of all of this is not to blame but to try and provoke thought from the student body about what it means to be a fan. The Howler simply wants to report about all teams, no matter the gender or sport. As a student forum, MHSHowler.com would be willing to publish responses to this article or previous events. Email your response to Mhshowler@gmail.com.

Article was updated as of February 13, 2015.