Should the women's game have smaller stuff in it?

Ekkie Thump

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Women are smaller than blokes. They aren't as fast, aren't as strong and can't generate as much power. Average height for a woman in the UK is 5'3", for a bloke it's 5'9". Plenty of other sports allow for these differences. In women's basketball the ball's smaller and the 3 point line shorter. In golf the holes are shorter in length. In volleyball the net's lower. In athletics the hurdles are smaller, the shot put lighter and the javelin shorter. The list goes on and each of those sports exhibit a higher level of female skill and competence than is currently evident in women's football . Watching the women's Champions League final I was struck particularly by how small the keepers looked in comparison to the goal; but also how slow the game was in transition and how (relatively) cumbersome players were in possession - the ball just looked...big by comparison. In my opinion it's possible the quality of women's football could be vastly improved by relating the size of the equipment to the female body size. I'm thinking smaller pitches, smaller goals and maybe even a slightly smaller ball. I'm not advocating five a side pitches with a futsal ball, I just mean that everything be reduced to the female equivalent. What do you reckon, am I talking bollocks?
 

FriendlyFox

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Women are smaller than blokes. They aren't as fast, aren't as strong and can't generate as much power. Average height for a woman in the UK is 5'3", for a bloke it's 5'9". Plenty of other sports allow for these differences. In women's basketball the ball's smaller and the 3 point line shorter. In golf the holes are shorter in length. In volleyball the net's lower. In athletics the hurdles are smaller, the shot put lighter and the javelin shorter. The list goes on and each of those sports exhibit a higher level of female skill and competence than is currently evident in women's football . Watching the women's Champions League final I was struck particularly by how small the keepers looked in comparison to the goal; but also how slow the game was in transition and how (relatively) cumbersome players were in possession - the ball just looked...big by comparison. In my opinion it's possible the quality of women's football could be vastly improved by relating the size of the equipment to the female body size. I'm thinking smaller pitches, smaller goals and maybe even a slightly smaller ball. I'm not advocating five a side pitches with a futsal ball, I just mean that everything be reduced to the female equivalent. What do you reckon, am I talking bollocks?
I can certainly see an argument for changing the size of the goals. But maybe not practical if they share pitches with men's teams.
 

Ekkie Thump

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Would be a massive pain in the arse to logistically sort that out.
Yeah, that's a good point. They're practically forced to play in facilities created by and for blokes. I guess changing the nets/balls wouldn't be too much of a hindrance though.
 

Kasper

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Nah, the huzzle for all the additional infrastructure would not be worth it.

The average height for men in England in mid 19th century was 5`3" as well so you could argue that the womens game now is closer to its intended origins than the mens game.
And rule changes that would lead to less goals, less attractive football? Don`t see the point, I`d argue that there are actually too few nice goals in the men`s game because freekicks or longshots have become so hard to be scored.
 

Stack

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Ive coached a lot of girls and womens teams over the years and these threads pop up from time to time. The big problem is its men talking about what they think women should do. Its their version of the game. Men watch the womans game expecting it to be just like the mens game and when it isnt they want to change it. In all my years coaching I have never heard any of the girls or women I coached ask for any changes, they are happy playing it the way it is.
Bottom line, stop putting male expectations of the game onto the womans game. Let them have their version of the game, if you dont like it dont watch. If you can get your head around the fact it looks and plays differently then you have a chance of enjoying it for what it is.
 

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No, you’re talking the lack of them.

The goals, the ball and the pitch should be smaller though.
Only if the girls and women collectively ask fo those elements to be smaler. thats not happening anytime soon so just let them play THEIR version of the game.
 

SER19

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Ive coached a lot of girls and womens teams over the years and these threads pop up from time to time. The big problem is its men talking about what they think women should do. Its their version of the game. Men watch the womans game expecting it to be just like the mens game and when it isnt they want to change it. In all my years coaching I have never heard any of the girls or women I coached ask for any changes, they are happy playing it the way it is.
Bottom line, stop putting male expectations of the game onto the womans game. Let them have their version of the game, if you dont like it dont watch. If you can get your head around the fact it looks and plays differently then you have a chance of enjoying it for what it is.
Really odd post considering a quick search shows loads of high profile female coaches and female players saying it's a discussion that's needed. To say that THE big problem is men discussing it makes absolutely no sense when some of the most respected and established female voices in the female game are discussing it.

As one of countless examples, heres Emma Hayes :

'The debate is closed down out of a misplaced fear that it will damage women’s football. When I first aired the idea, I was accused of undermining equality and trying to take the game backward.

"Let’s try to set emotion aside and consider some facts, such as the average height of a goalkeeper in men’s football being at least 6ft 1in — latest figures put it as high as 6ft 3in in the Premier League — with goalkeepers in the Women’s Super League (WSL) about 5ft 8in.

"That is a significant disparity, particularly when the dimensions of a full-size outdoor goal are 8ft high and 24ft wide.

"Constructive debate should be encouraged.

"I don’t want to see men called sexist for daring to discuss how the women’s game is different.'
 

Skills

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Of course. Smaller ball, smaller goals and a a smaller pitch would improve women's football as a spectacle.

Women's sport can only really hold its own, once it embraces the differences between men and women and then accounts for them. Gymnastics is by far the best women's sport out there - and it's even better than the men's version because the men's and women's version aren't just a copy of one another. There's different routines in each of them.
 

OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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Ball and goal size would be easy, if there is a demand for it. Size of the pitch would be trickier, considering they're using infrastructure for the men's game pretty much across the board.

Is the ball itself that much of a problem? Even at youth level, we always used a standard size 5 ball. Rarely ever saw a size 4. They were a bit heavier in the 90s too. They're very light these days. When watching women's football, I doesn't look like they struggle with the size or weight of the ball. The size of the goal certainly is glaringly obvious though. And for some reason, despite outfield players in the womens game continually getting better, goalkeeping still seems to be a major area for improvement.
 

Skills

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Ball and goal size would be easy, if there is a demand for it. Size of the pitch would be trickier, considering they're using infrastructure for the men's game pretty much across the board.

Is the ball itself that much of a problem? Even at youth level, we always used a standard size 5 ball. Rarely ever saw a size 4. They were a bit heavier in the 90s too. They're very light these days. When watching women's football, I doesn't look like they struggle with the size or weight of the ball. The size of the goal certainly is glaringly obvious though. And for some reason, despite outfield players in the womens game continually getting better, goalkeeping still seems to be a major area for improvement.
You don't think it would help with dribbling and manipulating the ball better in tighter spaces?
 

SER19

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Of course. Smaller ball, smaller goals and a a smaller pitch would improve women's football as a spectacle.

Women's sport can only really hold its own, once it embraces the differences between men and women and then accounts for them. Gymnastics is by far the best women's sport out there - and it's even better than the men's version because the men's and women's version aren't just a copy of one another. There's different routines in each of them.
Hurdles, basketball, rugby, tennis.. The list goes on for sports that have slight differences that account for differences between men and women. There is a defensiveness about the conversation that seems to be more prominent when football is involved
 

Stack

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Really odd post considering a quick search shows loads of high profile female coaches and female players saying it's a discussion that's needed. To say that THE big problem is men discussing it makes absolutely no sense when some of the most respected and established female voices in the female game are discussing it.

As one of countless examples, heres Emma Hayes :

'The debate is closed down out of a misplaced fear that it will damage women’s football. When I first aired the idea, I was accused of undermining equality and trying to take the game backward.

"Let’s try to set emotion aside and consider some facts, such as the average height of a goalkeeper in men’s football being at least 6ft 1in — latest figures put it as high as 6ft 3in in the Premier League — with goalkeepers in the Women’s Super League (WSL) about 5ft 8in.

"That is a significant disparity, particularly when the dimensions of a full-size outdoor goal are 8ft high and 24ft wide.

"Constructive debate should be encouraged.

"I don’t want to see men called sexist for daring to discuss how the women’s game is different.'
Sure there are some who make those types of comments but did you bother to look for women saying the opposite?
I can find tons of those too. The thing is I have spent nearly 16 years coaching girls and women to all levels and not once have I ever heard any of them ask for smaller goals and smaller balls. Thats typically 3 teams a season and I have had involvement at international level too.
Try this as an example of a female player with an opposing view to the one you posted.
https://www.skysports.com/football/...g-goals-smaller-for-women-would-be-ridiculous
 

Stack

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Ball and goal size would be easy, if there is a demand for it. Size of the pitch would be trickier, considering they're using infrastructure for the men's game pretty much across the board.

Is the ball itself that much of a problem? Even at youth level, we always used a standard size 5 ball. Rarely ever saw a size 4. They were a bit heavier in the 90s too. They're very light these days. When watching women's football, I doesn't look like they struggle with the size or weight of the ball. The size of the goal certainly is glaringly obvious though. And for some reason, despite outfield players in the womens game continually getting better, goalkeeping still seems to be a major area for improvement.
Footballs have weighed the same since the 70s, its a standard weight manufacturers have to stick to.
 

SER19

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Sure there are some who make those types of comments but did you bother to look for women saying the opposite?
I can find tons of those too. The thing is I have spent nearly 16 years coaching girls and women to all levels and not once have I ever heard any of them ask for smaller goals and smaller balls. Thats typically 3 teams a season and I have had involvement at international level too.
Try this as an example of a female player with an opposing view to the one you posted.
https://www.skysports.com/football/...g-goals-smaller-for-women-would-be-ridiculous
Youre changing the conversation. I was disputing your assertion that THE big problem is men putting male expectations on the women's game. That can only be true if you literally ignore in their entirety, all of the women who feel the same or at least feel the conversation is needed. Just seems wildly inaccurate to suggest its some sort of male led ignorance. It patently isn't
 

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Hurdles, basketball, rugby, tennis.. The list goes on for sports that have slight differences that account for differences between men and women. There is a defensiveness about the conversation that seems to be more prominent when football is involved
Its mostly men who bring this up.
For some reason men dont seem to be able to comprehend that the womens game is a version thats theirs.
 

FreddieTheReddie

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Do youth teams have smaller pitches? I really don’t know. U-16 players are about the same size as grown up women. So how much does it matter? And how would smaller nets increase the quality? That would mean fewer goals I think.
 

Stack

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Youre changing the conversation. I was disputing your assertion that THE big problem is men putting male expectations on the women's game. That can only be true if you literally ignore in their entirety, all of the women who feel the same or at least feel the conversation is needed. Just seems wildly inaccurate to suggest its some sort of male led ignorance. It patently isn't
It absolutely is a male driven ignorance. Sure there are some women who think the goals etc should be smaller but the overwhelming vast majority are quite happy with the game as it is.
These threads are always without fail started by men.
Have you ever seen a woman on here start one of these threads calling for smaller balls and smaller goals?
 

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Is it because you wouldn't watch it anymore or less regardless of the changes they make?
It's because I'm infrequent viewer, and I don't play women's football, so I can't truly appreciate how changing the size of the pitch/nets would effect the enjoyment of the sport.
 

Vidyoyo

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Only smaller goals and only fractionally because of the height difference. I think the quality on the pitch is perfectly fine to not change anything else.

Hard topic to chat about considering my gender.
 

SER19

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Its mostly men who bring this up.
For some reason men dont seem to be able to comprehend that the womens game is a version thats theirs.
There is absolutely no evidence to validate this assertion
 

Pexbo

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I think Blatter started looking into exactly this and his first suggestion was smaller shorts.
 

Devil81

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The goals should be smaller no doubt about it at all. Not knocking the women's game but the main stand out issue is the goalkeeping standard and that's due to kicking power and the size of the goals. Physically women as strong as men so the goals should be made smaller and I do think the pitch could be made smaller as well.

They'd then have to have their own specialist grounds. Could actually be good for their sport if I'm honest.
 

OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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Footballs have weighed the same since the 70s, its a standard weight manufacturers have to stick to.
That is surprising. I still have an old Umbro ceramica ball with a few United autographs on it. If I blow it up, it's noticeably heavier than the Nike one I have. Perhaps they weren't manufactured to the same standards as the proper match balls.
 

SER19

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It absolutely is a male driven ignorance. Sure there are some women who think the goals etc should be smaller but the overwhelming vast majority are quite happy with the game as it is.
These threads are always without fail started by men.
Have you ever seen a woman on here start one of these threads calling for smaller balls and smaller goals?
This forum is about 95% male. If raising a query that is literally raised by high profile females from the sport equates to ignorance in your view then you might want to consider why you feel that way
 

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The goals should be smaller no doubt about it at all. Not knocking the women's game but the main stand out issue is the goalkeeping standard and that's due to kicking power and the size of the goals. Physically women as strong as men so the goals should be made smaller and I do think the pitch could be made smaller as well.

They'd then have to have their own specialist grounds. Could actually be good for their sport if I'm honest.
https://www.skysports.com/football/...g-goals-smaller-for-women-would-be-ridiculous
 

duffer

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Have you ever seen a woman on here start one of these threads calling for smaller balls and smaller goals?
This place is an absolute sausage-fest though.

There's only a handful of female posters and I dont think any of them play (and if they do, they obviously don't want to talk about it on here).
 

redshaw

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Ask the players.

I doubt anything will change having watched world cups and the top leagues. There didn't seem to anything out of the ordinary happening. Perhaps lower down maybe if there's a problem to find taller goalkeepers and there's just too many goals going in then I think that's the easiest thing that can change if they want to. Changing it across the board when many games I've seen have no issues, I think that would be insulting and constrain players.
 

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This place is an absolute sausage-fest though.

There's only a handful of female posters and I dont think any of them play (and if they do, they obviously don't want to talk about it on here).
Hahaha. If you see my tagline (that i never asked for) you will get an idea I have gotten shit in here in the past for defending the womans version of the game. The big thing so many cant get their head around is that it looks different, its played at a different pace, its relatively new in its current iteration and it is for women to push for changes, not men.
 

snk123

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I agree but you can't make the grounds smaller - the goal posts is a possibility and so is the length of each half.
 

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It absolutely is a male driven ignorance. Sure there are some women who think the goals etc should be smaller but the overwhelming vast majority are quite happy with the game as it is.
These threads are always without fail started by men.
Have you ever seen a woman on here start one of these threads calling for smaller balls and smaller goals?
100% with you here.