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Category Archives: sports

Playing with the Boys

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Women and girls are still getting the short end of the stick when it comes to athletics. According the the Globe and Mail only Manitoba and Ontario allow girls to compete on boys’ teams. Some argue that allowing a girl to leave a girls’ team diminishes that team. Hmm. In Toronto, girls’ hockey teams must still struggle to get prime ice time over the “traditional” boys’ teams. (Women have been playing hockey for more than a century, so it seems there’s another tradition at play, but I digress.) So if they aren’t allowed to play, they aren’t allowed to flourish. If they can’t flourish, they can’t make a living out of it. Take a look at the Olympic Gold–medal winning women’s team; most them play on men’s teams. Yes, women’s and girls’ teams can only improve when the skills improve. And their skills can only improve when they get to play more often at higher levels that are often denied to girls’ and women’s leagues.

What year is this again?

Choke on This

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From the Toronto Star:

“During the Leafs’ final game at Maple Leaf Gardens on Feb. 13, 1999, team staff collected ice shavings the Zamboni had scooped off the ice between periods. The melted ice was cleaned and purified, and poured into about 2,500 acrylic pucks. Within days, the entire lot had been sold for $50 apiece for a net profit of roughly $125,000.”

This from a team that hasn’t, and I believe WON’T, ever win a Stanley Cup again. Why should they? They’re the most profitable franchise in the NHL. They’ve been filling seats to capacity since the Ballard days. Now, however, the butts in the chairs are pinstriped; so much for a ticket boycott. Leafs Nation can’t afford a passport to the game for which it bleeds blue. And yet fans till buy in.

Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?

Red Card

>I get rules. I understand the need for them. So here’s a rule: dumbasses are forbidden to officiate at kids’ soccer matches.

According to the Globe and Mail, eleven-year-old Asmahan Mansour was about to play her third game of a tournament in Laval, Quebec, this past Sunday. The referee—who is Muslim (huh?)—pointed at her and then to the bench. The kid had been expelled for wearing a hijab, a Muslim head scarf.

After her expulsion, her coach, Louis Maneiro, was shown a memo from the Quebec Soccer Federation saying the hijab and other religious headgear were forbidden. His team forfeited the game in protest.

Good for the coach and kudos to the team.

Brigitte Frot, executive director of the Quebec federation, said in an interview it wasn’t a religious matter and that her organization is just enforcing the laws of FIFA, the sport’s Zurich-based world governing body, which bans dangerous equipment.

Uh huh. I saw the World Cup. Heads outta be banned. Ah, but the plot thickens:

However, FIFA officials have been promoting the game in Muslim countries by saying that it is all right for female players to wear the hijab.

The FIFA website even has a 2006 article praising the Iranian women’s national team, with a photo of a hijab-wearing player taking a free kick.

And, reached in Zurich, a FIFA official said the game laws allow “non-basic equipment” as long as it isn’t dangerous.

Oops.

“We are bound to FIFA [rules],” Ms. Frot said yesterday, explaining that Quebec officials have in the past ordered the removal of jewellery in piercings and medical bracelets.

The 2006 supplementary FIFA guidelines, aimed at clarifying the game laws for referees, say that “non-basic” gear made with soft, light and padded material is allowed, such as some knee braces or goggles.

While made of fabric, the hijab could still be dangerous because the player could strangle herself, Ms. Frot said.

Amazing. And if you click on the FIFA link above, you’ll see a whole team of hijab-wearing footballers! Mind you, they look friggin’ warm with the long pants and shirtsleeves…

Apparently, the people who let the girl play two games of the tournament were “at fault.” No, mesdames, I think the fault lies elsewhere

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby Part 3

>
Perhaps I should subtitle this: That Ain’t Cricket, Mate!

On one hand, the fact that Pakistani women get to go see their much-loved cricket match is a great thing. At least when they show up, they won’t be considered the equivalent of “puck bunnies.” They can yell and cheer as much as they want. Fabulous. The players are all women, too. Good stuff.

But no men are allowed except for player’s families and the officials. This is to be a segregated event.

Ok, but it’s a baby step, right?

“The decision proves that women’s cricket is progressing in our country and through this event we would promote a softer and moderate image of Pakistan,” said Shamsa Hashmi, secretary of the Pakistan Cricket Board women’s wing.

What nonsense! That’s like the no-bodychecking rule in women’s hockey. For crying out loud, women aren’t fragile. If we can push the equivalent of a ten-pound turkey out a hole the size of a loonie, we can handle a little shoving in the rink or on the pitch. And if you think female sports fans are all warm and cuddly, you wait till their side is losing.

Don’t get me wrong: support for women’s sport is good. But women being allowed to openly attend and support any sport regardless of the gender of the players is better.

Ms. Hashmi, there are far better ways of promoting a “softer and moderate image” of Pakistan.

from Al Jazeera, photo by GALLO/GETTY

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

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From the Independent:

Mecca Laa Laa,20,one of the newly graduated lifeguards,said it would give Australian Muslim women the freedom to enjoy the beach while fulfilling their religious obligations. “The point is to get women active in the water, to encourage them to participate in sporting activities … and wearing the burqini allows them to do that,” she said.

From the Salon‘s Catherine Price:

On the other hand, it still bothers me that women should have to hide their entire bodies in public.

You and me both, Ms. Price.

Whatever

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