Are Boys’ Sports Supported More Than Girls’?

2020+varsity+girls+basketball+team+huddling+before+a+big+game.+Photo+by+John+O%E2%80%99Leary.

2020 varsity girls basketball team huddling before a big game. Photo by John O’Leary.

Lucy Trout, Journalist

Boys’ sports get a great deal of attention. If that’s professional sports or just high school sports, this reigns true. In comparison to girls’ sports, the boys have more fans, there’s more effort in advertising games, and they often get nicer and newer gear.

According to Claudia Horton, an OHS girls basketball player, last year there was a doubleheader game in which the girls and boys varsity teams played back to back, and “during the girls game, there was exactly one row of students in the student section. During the boys’ game, there were at least 15 full rows.” Horton believes that the boys’ games “are viewed as more exciting. When there are twenty times more students laughing, chanting, and cheering in the crowd, the game is going to seem more exciting… The students create the environment.” Students often go to games to enjoy time with friends and other students and celebrate our school’s teams. When the boys’ games are the ones with the most people and the most fun, why should they go to the girls’ games? Since sports are a relatively new opportunity for girls, there is a long history of watching boys’ sports, and that doesn’t just change in a few years. 

Not only are boys sports more supported by the students, but by the school as well. The school puts a lot of time and effort into announcing and advertising boys’ sports, as well as accommodating them. The boys’ booster club also has a lot more money, and Horton says “it ultimately results in even more attention for the boys because they have special signs made, get new gear almost every year, ride to their games in vans rather than buses, etc.”

The greater support for boys’ sports also affects the players. It can often be difficult to see “less celebration and recognition for an achievement equal to the boys.” Horton also says that she’s “always somewhat aware of a disproportionate amount of support.” This can often be discouraging to the girls’ teams, especially after working so hard to achieve their goals.

From the boys’ perspective, William Lovelace, an OHS Track and Cross Country runner, agrees that “guys sports get more support and representation than girls sports.”  Even as a member of the boys’ team, Lovelace has noticed the disproportion. Around our school, the promotion of the boys’ football and basketball games is huge. “I hear our school talk about the guys’ teams much more than the girls’ teams,” says Lovelace. “If they do talk about girls teams, it’s just soccer and none of the other sports.” Soccer is far from the only girls’ sport at OHS, and even though it does gain recognition, it’s very minimal in comparison to boys’ soccer. Even male athletes are more often recognized for their achievements. Lovelace says that “boy ‘star athletes’” get much more praise than the girls do. For example, the girls that are athletes of the month at OHS are barely even known, whereas when boys are named an athlete of the month, especially for football, the whole school knows about it. 

Not only is this unfair, but it can be unmotivating. Striving for recognition and support from other students can push athletes, but the girls often don’t get this. Even for the few sports that are supported by the school and the students, it’s not to the extent that boys sports are. The school does not work to better promote girls’ sports, and therefore they’re not talked about by a lot of students, there’s not as much funding, there’s less promotion from the school, and fewer spectators at games.