Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Is It In Need of Fixing?

The NCAA makes a ton of money when March Madness rolls around during basketball season. Advertisers fall all over themselves spending money just to get a nod during the anual college basketball long as it's the MEN'S tournament: the women's version doesn't get much play. Over the past few years, the women's game, according to pundits, has gotten less than exciting with only a few dominant teams, and now there's a movement afoot to change the women's game to make it more exciting...hmmm. Like Brittany Griner, UConn, Notre Dame, Tennessee or not, those teams and players added to a buzz around women's basketball; however, it doesn't seem to be enough.
Val Ackerman, former president of USA Basketball and the WNBA has gone on record as saying that the women's game needs to change in order to generate some excitement. I get part of her argument...basically, women's college basketball is NOT an exciting game to watch, and now that the physical pushing, shoving, hand-checking, and holding has taken over (as it has in the men's game!), the game has slowed to a crawl. Couple the increasingly physical play with woeful shooting (this year's DI women's teams averaged barely 40% from the field, and just over 30% from the three-point line), and we now have a game that's far less about skill and athleticism than it is about how to manhandle opponents while the referees are (apparently) not looking. Understand me, the men's game has become something that Dr. Naismith would cringe over as well, but the speed is elevated, and fast break dunks and alley opp dunks can bring the crowd to its feet.
Anyway, some changes proposed by Ackerman, in no particular order and in no way seconded by me:

1. Shorten the season to one semester, beginning after football and ending in March.

2. Have the Women's NCAA tournament at the same time, on the same dates, and in the same city as the men's tournament.

3. Reduce the number of teams in the field sine there are no more than five or ten teams capable of winning it anyway.

4. Lower the number of scholarships per team from 15 to 134, thus spreading the talent around more and making for more of a competitive balance nationwide.

5. Have officials call fouls and violations as the rules intended to reduce physicality.

Some coaches, such as Geno Auriemma of the University of Connecticut, have suggested lowering the hoop from 10 feet to 9 feet to improve shooting percentages. (I suspect the number of players playing above the rim would also increase)

For my money, I have watched college women's basketball for 10 years, and the game can be exciting as long as it does not evolve into a holding, shoving, physical test of strength. Close games are fun to watch, and it's nice to see players who can actually shoot a free throw successfully. It IS, however, a much slower still bothers me to see players throw a pass with one hand by pushing it instead of the two-hand pass, and when games get a bit out of hand, fouls occur every time down the floor because there aren't skilled players in the game (this is when I head to the parking lot).
There are a myriad of theories regarding why women's college basketball has lost a bit of lustre, but I imagine the players might feel somewhat differently than do the "experts."


Post a Comment

<< Home