Good: Scott Allen, a columnist for the student paper at Sacramento State takes a different tack on women's athletics. (Different from too many other male--and some female--student columnists who complain about how boring women's sports are and why the university is forced to spend money on them and take it away from their precious football teams.) But Allen applauds the women's teams at Sac State and notes that, in general, women's sports deserve more media attention and a home outside of the ESPN2 ghetto. And specifically that at Sac State the women's teams have had greater success than such traditional favorites as football and baseball. Both women's rowing and volleyball are championship winners in the past few years.
Bad: I like to advertise adult recreational sporting opportunities, usually teams but I am open to specific events like tournaments. But this hockey tournament for women coming up in Woodstock, Vermont in November makes me cringe. It's being called Slapshot and Shop and the logo has a pink purse hanging from a hockey stick. There's also a sexy avatar in a cropped pink top, mini, and pink high heels who says "shopping is a sport." Oi! Woodstock is a cute place that has typical NE arts and craftsy type shops. But that the tournament organizers marketed their event around shopping is offensive and suggests that women will only show up if they can shop between games. This also has the implication that women do not play as hard. Teams are guaranteed 3 games in this tournament. Three games in one weekend is a lot. Most players I know go back to the hotel and nap between games. But in Woodstock some think that these women are going skate around a little and then shed their pads and head for the shops. You can email Vic Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him/her (not sure if Vic is short for Victor or Victoria) and the other organizers know they need to take women's hockey seriously just like its players do.
Good: England's recent support of its women's teams. Recent articles and studies I have come across suggest that England has not been supporting women's athletics in a manner similar to other Western countries. Women have far fewer opportunities to play sports and those who do play in relative obscurity. But this article from The Independent might indicate a change in attitude. It begins: "Contrary to what the bloke down the pub has been saying, the England football team is not rubbish. It is, in fact, enjoying a brilliant run, having made it through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup." Also having recent successes are the national rugby, cricket, and rowing teams. [American press is also covering the story as the US faces off against England tomorrow. USA Today comments on the success of this England team. And the article has the extra bonus of letting me know that Twenty20 is cricket.]