Women’s sports are never represented like mens

With March Madness the underrepresentation was clear

Amaia Barajas

Millions of people tune in every year to the men’s NCAA March Madness tournaments, even though there is a equally exciting and well played women’s tournament going on. We mainly hear about the men’s tournament in everyday conversation  because people just don’t cover it as thoroughly.

The culture and tradition surrounding March Madness is coming from the men’s teams and not so much the women’s. During the whole of the tournament I didn’t hear once about the games played by women in sports. Instead I heard about every little thing going on in the men’s games. There were multiple Snapchat sponsored stories with people’s reactions to the men’s games, yet nothing with people eagerly watching the women.

The difference in excitement between men and women playing has nothing to do with viewers preferences and everything to do with different advertising techniques and different team expenditures. Viewers can sometimes forget that women’s sports are happening at the same time that men’s sports are because they are less heard about in the media. Recently the women’s NCAA tournament was switched from CBS to ESPN because of scheduling issues, which hurt the viewings of the games. Since ESPN has more sporting events going on during the tournament, there isn’t a straight run of the game on primetime TV. In 2016 11.3 million people tuned into men’s March Madness, there isn’t set data on what women’s ratings were, but if they fell close to tradition there most likely was not as many people tuning into women’s basketball.

While there could be a very plausible reason that there are more people tuning into men’s basketball, it’s still not an excuse for the under representation. Men’s and women’s college basketball did have a 43 year gap between the tournaments. Men’s basketball started in 1939 and women’s basketball didn’t have a tournament like men’s until 1982. There was a large amount of time in between the tournaments, making viewers have a longer history with men’s basketball, but in the long run both teams are playing the same game.

While there could be a very plausible reason that there are more people tuning into men’s basketball, it’s still not an excuse for the under representation.”

— Amaia Barajas

There is no reason for there to be such a variety in numbers between men’s and women’s. Both teams are playing equally exciting and tense games, for example Notre Dame’s win this year was a buzzer beater shot nobody was expecting. It was a shocking surprise, much like the surprise there was for the Loyola team to go as far as they did, yet not nearly as much excitement.

But women’s sports have been growing exponentially in the past years and has proven to be just as competitive and exciting as men’s sports, there are still barriers to jump. It appears that women have to jump higher, shoot more and win more for them to get the same recognition as a man, but that doesn’t mean they won’t take the challenge.