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    Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    There is an article in USA Today by Christene Brennan (Psst, women have hoops tourney, too - USATODAY.com) that covers the recent, yet annual discussion about the relevance of the women's national tournament. As we seem to hear on an annual basis, there are those that want to separate it (by time) from the men's tournament. These are much the same arguments that are being made to separate the men and women's Big 12 tournaments by location. Somehow these moves would give the women's side legitimacy and increase viewership. It would create equality.

    I'm writing this in hope that it stirs good discussion - not name calling. What do you believe? I'll share my thoughts and leave it out there for you to respond.

    Personally, I think Brennan's article is short sighted. Let's just talk about the impact on the women's game by moving it's tournament up by three weeks.

    1. The season - the women would either have to cut games or move the beginning of the season up by three weeks. Guess what that does? It would now either compete with football in the fall or lose much of the non-conference season. Neither of these options is good. Football is the bread and butter of nearly every (if not every) Div I program in the country. How many people will attend a Saturday game for the women when football is being played? What? Don't play Saturday games you say? That means either more Sunday games or weeknight games which are harder for the non-locals to travel for. The other half of this equation would be an even further loss of interest in the women - losing the key non-conference games that either get teams ready for grueling conference seasons or give them a name via the upset of a nationally recognized team. You might also begin to lose the traditional non-conference matchups that are so critical for the fans (i.e. the rivalries).

    2. Separating the men and the women. This isn't just about the big dance. It's about the sport itself. If the women's teams are starting earlier, that also means they begin conference play earlier. All of the discussion that takes place because both teams are in the midst of conference battles goes away. The women would be wrapping things up when the men were just getting to the middle of their conference races. There would be no critical mass of people who follow both teams. If you don't think crowds follow women now, just wait. The crowds will get smaller. First step - separating conference tournaments. In the Big 12 the women draw two groups of people - the true women's fans and those that are there for the men and choose to come support the women. Separating the tournaments would eliminate the later group. It could also impact the former group if some of those fans (and i am one of them) support both teams. Economic times dictate having to choose which team you will travel to support. The crowds continue to shrink. Move to the NCAA tourney and you have the same effect happening only you get to add one more aspect - loss of recognition. The women would lose the "March Madness" moniker. The value of latching onto this cannot be undersold. What will we call those tournaments that now start in February? The February Fanaticism? Don't think so. Now we get to throw marketing out the window as well.

    I think they need to leave it just as it currently is. The hopes of getting something better by separating the two sports are wishful thinking. I believe this separation would increase the "second class" perception of women's basketball rather than decrease it. What do you think?



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    Leave currently as it is.
    Some people (including me) can be fans of both men's and women's team (although for me, I'll lean towards the women's team). Both will have their own fans.
    I also agree that separation will increase the perception that WBB is a second class. Plus it will be hard for our student athletes and our coaching staffs in terms of practice, planning, attending classes, etc.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    They have already done what is practical by staggering the weekdays they play in the two tourneys. Thursday and Friday belong to the men and Monday and Tuesday belong to the women. The final four is also staggered with Men on Saturday and Monday; women on Sunday and Tuesday.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    I like the way the games are staggered now, they should leave it alone. And conference tournaments should be run exactly as they are right now, the womens game is gaining popularity and should be left alone.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    I think it works well now, too. There's some overlap with the early rounds, but overall it works well.

    I heard somewhere that the reason the Big 12 Tournament was awarded to KC for MBB through 2014 but WBB only through 2013 was because the NCAA might be investigating a WBB schedule shift for 2014, which would obviously force the separation of the conference tournaments.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    Michigan used to have separate seasons for boys and girls high school basketball. The girls were in the Fall and the boys were in Winter. This strategy was changed because it was thought to be unfair to the girls for recruiting and fan interest. The seasons are aligned now. I don't know that recruiting or fan interest has changed. Personally I'l like to have a non-olympic sport during the spring to have something to look forward to following. Would women's basketball draw marginally more fans in the spring completely separated from men's?


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    Quote Originally Posted by IsUaClone2 View Post
    Michigan used to have separate seasons for boys and girls high school basketball. The girls were in the Fall and the boys were in Winter. This strategy was changed because it was thought to be unfair to the girls for recruiting and fan interest. The seasons are aligned now. I don't know that recruiting or fan interest has changed. Personally I'l like to have a non-olympic sport during the spring to have something to look forward to following. Would women's basketball draw marginally more fans in the spring completely separated from men's?
    Yeah, look at the WNBA and how well they are doing with their non-traditional BB season.

    Yes, contrary to popular belief, they are still playing.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    I think separating it from the men's tournament would leave it with even less credibility. If they put it before the men's tournament, while the men's regular season and conference tournaments are going on, nobody's going to watch because fans will be too interested in what's going on with their men's teams, and if they wait until after the men's tournament, you run the risk of fans not caring at all because they might shut down interest following the men's tournament.

    Separating the women's tournament would be a big disaster IMO.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    Quote Originally Posted by VeloClone View Post
    Yeah, look at the WNBA and how well they are doing with their non-traditional BB season.

    Yes, contrary to popular belief, they are still playing.
    Yes, and think how well they would be doing if played at the same time as the NBA and MBB.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    Quote Originally Posted by swarthmoreCY View Post
    Yes, and think how well they would be doing if played at the same time as the NBA and MBB.
    There was a thread on here on the topic of the quandary of whether to watch the greatest basketball event of the year or enjoy the nice weather.

    The WNBA starts their season in June. That is not much of a decision. I would be more likely to watch an occasional WNBA game during basketball season than the summer. My TV collects dust in the summer except for some notable exceptions (e.g. Le Tour).


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    Quote Originally Posted by VeloClone View Post
    There was a thread on here on the topic of the quandary of whether to watch the greatest basketball event of the year or enjoy the nice weather.

    The WNBA starts their season in June. That is not much of a decision. I would be more likely to watch an occasional WNBA game during basketball season than the summer. My TV collects dust in the summer except for some notable exceptions (e.g. Le Tour).
    Great anecdote.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    The Big 10 already has them separated. All that really accomplishes is that the women have to wait more than a week to find out if they are in the tournament. The real need is to convince basketball fans that you can play good basketball without the dunk being an absolute necessity. Actually it is not exclusively the dunk, it's the perception that if you can't dunk, you're not an athlete and therefore your brand of basketball is somehow inferior. Separating the tournaments, separating the seasons only reinforces that mistaken perception. Schools where women's basketball doesn't draw crowds now won't draw crowds under a separated schedule either.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    its personal choice, if you dont like womens basketball like myself, it wont matter if its in the winter or spring or fall



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    Quote Originally Posted by HuskerClone View Post
    The Big 10 already has them separated. All that really accomplishes is that the women have to wait more than a week to find out if they are in the tournament. The real need is to convince basketball fans that you can play good basketball without the dunk being an absolute necessity. Actually it is not exclusively the dunk, it's the perception that if you can't dunk, you're not an athlete and therefore your brand of basketball is somehow inferior. Separating the tournaments, separating the seasons only reinforces that mistaken perception. Schools where women's basketball doesn't draw crowds now won't draw crowds under a separated schedule either.
    How is one person's perception of a game incorrect?

    I rarely watch women's basketball. It's just not as exciting. Apparently, my mother and grandmother can't watch it, either.

    It's not necessarily a matter of one's perception on this being right or wrong. Different people have different tastes. Nothing wrong with that.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Should the women's season be separated?

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneErik View Post
    How is one person's perception of a game incorrect?

    I rarely watch women's basketball. It's just not as exciting. Apparently, my mother and grandmother can't watch it, either.

    It's not necessarily a matter of one's perception on this being right or wrong. Different people have different tastes. Nothing wrong with that.
    I don't think I used the word incorrect. I think we actually agree. You don't think women's basketball is as exciting as the men's game. Is that because the women are less athletic? That's my point, you perceive the women's game as different. Separating the seasons wouldn't change your perception.



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