Opposing goals: Editors battle over rim

Jamilyn Hall, Opinions Editor

Same height a score for equality

Women have fought for the right to vote, for the ability to drive and for equality itself. Now some women want to change the game of equality — to lower standards in the game of basketball. 

WNBA star Elena Delle Donne recently called for lowering the rims in women’s basketball. The reason? To showcase athleticism.

“We do every single thing on the court that the men do, other than the dunking,” Delle Donne said to USA Today. “Obviously there is a handful of athletes who can dunk.”

It’s true that the WNBA’s regulation ball is smaller than the NBA’s, but why would women want to lower their standards and lower the goal?

Women usually aren’t as tall as men. This is obvious, especially in basketball. Our hips are bigger and we tend to not be able to jump as high. But Delle Donne is 6 foot 5 inches, and she can dunk.

From middle school gyms to college hoops, the court is the same across the country. Lowering the rim would be just another way to separate genders and keep women from athletics. 

“I think the women’s game has been developing as a product,” said Lindsay Gottlieb, head coach of the University of California’s women’s basketball team. “We’re continuing to get more athletic, we’re continuing to get faster, and I think that’s going to grow the game and grow fans. And I think people … like the fact that we play under the rim.”

Women are treated equal in the sports world, you say? Well, let me remind you of recent remarks from Raymond Moore: “If I was a lady (tennis) player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and (Rafael) Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.”

It may be unfair to keep the WNBA’s rim the same height as the NBA’s regulation goal. But that is how the world is for women. Women have to work harder than men just to showcase our talent.

Possibly women will get the recognition we deserve for doing more with less. Yes, women are less likely to dunk on a 10-foot goal, but for the women who can dunk, this just showcases how great it is that women can be equal to men — because we are.

Jamilyn Hall is the opinions editor of the Kentucky Kernel.

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Lower basket a slam dunk for women

Sets in tennis, net height in volleyball, tee placement in golf, and rules in a slew of other sports are different because of gender. 

Coaches and athletes are trying to change that when it comes to women’s basketball. 

In 2012, UCONN coach Geno Auriemma spoke to media about lowering the rim. Earlier this week, WNBA athlete Elena Delle Donne spoke with USA Today about the same issue.

Delle Donne has the ability to play above the rim, so her argument isn’t for her personal gain. In fact, it would give her more competition. By lowering the rim, more women would be able to play better offensively. 

“I might even get pushback from fellow WNBA players,” Delle Donne said in the interview. “But I stand by it. It would bring a whole different viewership to the game and it’d be fun. It’d be so exciting.”

Equality is one thing, and some could argue that for true equality, all sports should played the same way regardless of sex. But equality doesn’t have to come in the form of how the game is played. Equality can come from equal pay, equal sponsorship and equal media representation. 

Lowering the rim is a slam dunk for women’s basketball. Rather than looking at it as keeping men and women from playing equally, it would allow for players to compete to the best of their abilities. 

Auriemma advocated for lowering the rim because it would lessen some of the frustration that fans feel when players miss shots. 

“How to help improve that? Lower the rim (from 10 feet),” Auriemma said. “Do you think the average fan knows that the net is lower in women’s volleyball than men’s volleyball? It’s about seven inches shorter, so the women have the chance for the same kind of success at the net (as the men).”

Female athletes don’t play with any less vigor because of their sex. They should be allowed to compete with the assets that will help them excel. As they excel, they will garner more attention from a variety of outlets. 

Lowering the rim won’t make the game any easier, and it won’t lessen or cheapen female athletes’ skills. What it will do is allow women to excel as athletes and play to their fullest potential.

Lexington Souers is the features editor of the Kentucky Kernel.

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