Why Don’t People Watch Women’s Sports?

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This is the student section Leesville’s Men Varsity Basketball team is used to seeing, the Women’s Varsity team is custom to virtually empty bleachers. (Photo used by permission of @leesvilleloonies on Instagram)

Leesville’s Girls’ Varsity Basketball team is experiencing a great season, with a current record of 7-1 and a perfect home-game winning streak. Surprisingly, the bleachers remain empty during their home games. On the other hand, the Boys’ Varsity Team is struggling with a 3-6 record, winning only one home game, yet their home games have a packed student section.

Women’s sports often suffer from a perceived lack of excitement, leading to low viewership from high school sports up to the professional level. However, this assumption isn’t always true.

Lack of Coverage

The most commonly cited reason for the underwhelming interest in women’s sports is the lack of media coverage. This shortage of attention results in reduced viewership, perpetuating the notion that there’s no need for extensive coverage since “no one is watching.” This creates a cycle that discourages people from tuning in to women’s sports.

Haley Lamme, senior and Leesville Student Section leader, manages the Leesville Loonies Instagram account. She admits, “I post for the men’s games, but I don’t post for the women’s… mainly because in the past, the account only covered football and men’s basketball, so I’ve just continued the same trend.” Many Leesville students rely on the Loonies account for game notifications. 

“I find out about the men’s games through the Leesville Loonies account and the women through the women’s basketball account,” said Leah Carter, senior. 

If people remain unaware of upcoming games, attendance suffers. The Leesville Loonies Instagram serves as a crucial platform for game advertisement. Without their posts, potential attendees may not be informed. Even if students learn about the games through the women’s basketball Instagram or word of mouth, they may hesitate to attend without the backing of the main Loonies account signaling that the game is worth going, affecting overall attendance.

“I know that if my friends aren’t going, I wouldn’t really wanna go, so I think that’s a reason why people don’t go to the women’s games. It builds because people won’t go to games, then their friends won’t go, and then their friends don’t go and so on,” said Georgia Lilley, a junior on the varsity cheer team.

Additionally, men’s games has themes for the student section, enhancing the overall experience, while women’s games don’t. 

Carter said, “The themes make a lot of people want to go to the games because having a fun theme to dress up to makes me more likely to want to go… [the women’s games] probably don’t have themes because normally there is no student section to dress up.”

Poor Reputation

Due to the lack of coverage in professional, college, and Leesville women’s sports, achievements by women’s teams often go unnoticed. This contributes to a continued disinterest in women’s sports.

Kaiel Lawless, a senior on the women’s varsity basketball team, said, “We’ve had a really good season, like we’re 7-1 and the boys are not… the argument in past years was that we weren’t winning and the games were boring, but this year we have won every home game, and I’ve been told the girls’ games are much more interesting, and people still don’t watch.”

Kevin Dang, a sophomore on the varsity cheer team, agrees. “I definitely think the girl’s games are much more interesting than the boy’s games… and I know most of the cheer team agrees since we go to both. The girls are more aggressive… and I don’t know what, but it’s just so much more fun to watch and cheer on.”

Due to low attendance at women’s games, many miss out on the excitement, perpetuating the belief that women’s sports are less entertaining. Despite the prevalent notion that women’s sports are dull and lack marketability, this is not always the case, and biased attitudes may cause fans to miss out on thrilling and engaging games.

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