Winning in front of nobody: girls’ teams need more attention for successful seasons

PJ Pfeiffer

The girls’ varsity basketball team has played in four Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) finals games in the past four years. This season, the girls’ basketball team won the MCAL finals on Feb. 14, while the boys’ team didn’t even make it to the playoffs. The girls’ field hockey team finished 12-0-1 and won the league against Berkeley High School. Girls’ soccer won the MCAL title and girls’ volleyball went 26-8 overall, a very successful season. But still, girls’ sports continue to receive a lower crowd turnout than boys’ sports.

Students need to pay more attention to girls’ sports by going to games more often because, in some sports, the girls’ team is as good, or better, than the boys’ team. One example is basketball. The overall record in MCALs this past season was 15-1 for the girls, while the boys’ record was 7-9. The year before, the girls’ record was also 15-1 in the league, while the boys’ was 13-3. 

I have gone to almost every single game of both the girls’ and boys’ teams the past three seasons, and I can say that, on average, around 30 people go to the girls’ games (most of whom are parents) and about 50 people go to boys’ games. This shows that even though the girls’ seasons have been more successful, fewer students are going to their games.

Illustration by Olivia Kharrazi

Though society as a whole has been making progress with gender equality, sports are still an issue today and have not been progressing at the same rate. In an article by the Rocky Mountain Collegian, “40 percent of athletes are females, but women’s sports only account for around 4 percent of sports media coverage.” 

This trend is not limited to professional female sports; a similar concept applies to high school. It seems as if barely any students know about the girls’ games that happen every day, but somehow more students know about the boys’ games. One reason why girls’ sports don’t get enough attention is because of Leadership’s advertising, which even though they advertise girls’ games, Leadership should promote more of their games.

Leadership is supposed to help promote important events going on at Redwood, but they don’t do a great job at raising awareness of girls’ games. Girls’ games should be covered and promoted by Leadership to the same extent as boys’ games, or perhaps even more, through social media, Redwood TV and homeroom announcements in order to increase crowd turnout. Of the past four years, Leadership has promoted one girls’ swimming meet and one softball game. 

Because of this, Leadership should increase their game nights for softball and other girls’ sports. Leadership should favor advertising girls’ games in order to increase attendance. This change would hopefully increase crowd size and interest from students for both genders equally. 

Game nights, annual events planned by Leadership, should be focused on more girls’ teams, especially if they are doing better in their season. Let’s look at the boys’ varsity basketball team. We have game nights for boys’ and girls’ basketball once a year, except there’s one difference: the boys almost always lose, such as the MCAL finals game against Drake, and the girls almost always win.

Why does Leadership put on game nights every year for the boys’ team that has lost almost every year, when all it does is reveal that they are not a team that can win playoff games or MCAL finals. Promoting more game nights for the girls’ team is a great way to spread awareness and attention and creates a fun environment. 

Girls’ sports teams, especially those that are highly ranked in their leagues, should have the same number of student spectators as boys’ teams. The best way for this to occur is by Leadership promoting girls’ games for every sport more often. I hope that soon, more people will go to girls’ games, support their teams and raise awareness of gender inequality in sports coverage.