Jack Toft
Earlier this year

What can the WNBL learn from the AFLW?

OK, the AFLW juggernaut has finished its 3rd season and the dust is settling. Can the WNBL (and other women's sports bodies too) learn anything from the competition?

There's a few key words that are getting bandied around. We hear a lot of victimhood statements "we were DENIED access to footy"; "my dad was told he should have had a son" "I wanted to play footy with the boys, but wasn't allowed to" etc etc

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Getting themselves on TV would be a start.

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Joe_m  
Earlier this year

The WNBL should be looking at how Netball lifted itself up off the floor maybe 10 years ago and established an elite competition.

The AFLW isn't a competition they can emulate as basketball isn’t as big as AFL but it’s an equal size to Netball.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

That if they get funded by an extremely powerful government backed men's sport that wants to crush legitimate competitors for it's revenue they will be successful.

Let's not pretend the AFL spent on AFLW as anything other than a competitive move to squash other sports that were gaining momentum.

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Food for thought  
Earlier this year

WNBL will stay a niche sport until the average basketball-playing girl gives half a shit about watching womens basketball.

We keep hearing from these feminist types that women's sports are somehow being held down by men, but they forget that if women turned up to the games, they'd make more revenue and their leagues will grow.

Fact of the matter is, women do not care about womens sports. They can say whatever they like about "the girls can do anything the guys can (TM LTD)" but when push comes to shove, they'd rather watch Kyrie Irving or even Jerome Randle cross up a male defender than some female player airball an open lay up (as, sorry, I have seen very often at WNBL and WNBA level).

The victimhood complex that the media is pushing about women's football, that somehow the men must have prevented them from starting their own league or something, will give the AFLW a short lived limelight. But the fact is, feminists are not exactly sports crazy. They like to dictate the way the world works around them and then to retreat into their cat-filled hovels until another issue piques their loveless interest. Rarely will you see one pick up a season membership for, say, the Adelaide Lightning. The AFLW is getting good media, but the constant narrative will grow tired, and in the end I believe people will become bored of the AFLW. Like the WNBL, it's an inferior product to something else they could be watching that runs at basically the exact same time. Whilst 53,000 fans coming to the grand final is an achievement (despite tickets being free), it is an aberration. Most of the fans that went would have enjoyed the experience, to be sure. But chances are they're primarily fans of the original Adelaide mens team who turned up to see what the fuss was about. They might grow as a sport, but it's always going to be the AFL's charity case and anyone who thinks different is lying to themselves.

Netball is a different beast altogether and there is a good reason that it has become perhaps the most successful of the womens sports - there is no male competition to compare it to. If you're into netball, you're into womens netball. It's as simple as that. That is why they're able to get over a million people watching the grand final. The netball fanbase has no other option to make them segmented as basketball fans are. You either watch Australian womens netball, or you don't watch netball.

So what can the WNBL do? Well, kind of nothing. It cant ride the coat tails of the NBL because the NBL isn't exactly massive anyway, and the NBL is not directly linked to the WNBL. It can't dominate the basketball market as netball does in netball. I think the best WNBL can really hope for is to exist, remain sustainable, and keep pumping out future Opals. They could make concerted efforts to be more interactive with the young girls playing the sport, and do school clinics, but outside of that, they're going to struggle - as womens sports generally do - to have girls actually care about it, outside of the ideologues who will hijack those sports to make a point.

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Joe_m  
Earlier this year

Food For Thought is a moron.

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Food for thought  
Earlier this year

Yeah, when you can't actually critique a point, slinging insults works just as well I suppose.

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D2.0  
Earlier this year

Actually I have to mostly agree with FFT.

Obviously yes, WNBL can never match the spending power of the AFL, so that is a major disadvantage.

The problem that women's basketball has, is that it compares so unfavourably to men's. It looks poor by comparison because the dimensions are the same, but the strength and height are less. Watching players try to make underhand lay-ups is just awful.
They need to take steps to make the game look more appealing.

The other thing with AWFL is that it is not run in direct competition with the mens. So it gives AFL addicts dying for a fix something to watch.

Getting the games televised, or at least on (an improved) NBL tv would also help.

They other thing they need to push hard, that the AWFL can never match, is the international aspect. Make sure we keep winning medals, and get people along to international games.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

The AFLW is only surviving because the AFL is propping it up. It has no major sponsors in its own right and us is riding off the success of the men. Difference is the AFL has cash to splash and can afford to sustain it

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Get there sponsorship dollars, media coverage, neither of these will happen, FFS Phillips won every award again and it was like her greatest achievement and was covered as so, when people that really no sport realise it was a piss in the ocean compared to what she has done in basketball, that was never mentioned or even asked, sad really. She certainly did not make her coin playing wafl, if the media were fair it would be pointed out, but they ain't.
An LK type guy is the best hope for women’s basketball, but who knows when. Lauren Jackson was in the top five sports person ever in this country but you wouldn’t no it.
End of rant but it shits me.

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anon  
Earlier this year

""So what can the WNBL do? Well, kind of nothing. It cant ride the coat tails of the NBL because the NBL isn't exactly massive anyway, and the NBL is not directly linked to the WNBL. It can't dominate the basketball market as netball does in netball. I think the best WNBL can really hope for is to exist, remain sustainable, and keep pumping out future Opals. They could make concerted efforts to be more interactive with the young girls playing the sport, and do school clinics, but outside of that, they're going to struggle - as womens sports generally do - to have girls actually care about it, outside of the ideologues who will hijack those sports to make a point. ""

wow Food For Thought, you probably need to think a bit more before you open your mouth mate....have you ever been to the school clinics, the development days, dont see any NBL players there thats for sure, its the WNBL players, the SEABL players and guess what its the women who do it NOT the men, you and your attitude is all thats wrong here.

If women's sport got the exposure that mens sport did it would attract the sponsors that would then enable the financial aspects to come into play, but it doesn't and why, because of stupid men like yourself who think only about mens sport. Do you have any idea how much a woman has to sacrifice to play their chosen sport, not just basketball but any sport.
But as this is about basketball lets start with that shall we. Up until 2 years ago if a woman fell pregnant she had to give up thats sport with no pay, not maternity leave no nothing, their husband on the other hand would be able to continue doing just what he loved, whilst awaiting the birth of that child...now I can hear you say, thats what women do, but reverse that for one second, would you think that would have been ok had it been a man who had to stop playing. thats just one example. Women get paid peanuts compared to male athletes, tennis being the exception for prize money but even that can and does differentiate. So most women athletes also work, even if its part time, if married they run households and all that entails, and if by chance they return after children they would no doubt have that job too.
So dont come all high and mighty and say it needs women to be more interactive', it needs men to pull their heads from between their legs and actually respect the fact that these are not just women they are athletes. It needs media to do do the same, this stereo typical attitude that women's sport is an inferior product is disgraceful and everything that is wrong with the inequality of sport.
As a male , I prefer women's basketball to mens, its a thinking game, same as tennis its not just a grunt and slug fest, women's soccer is huge overseas, the only thing that hinders women in sport is mens attitudes like yours.

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D2.0  
Earlier this year

Oh FFS.
Pregnancy? Yes, sure, it's all just a patriarchal conspiracy to keep women subjugated.
All people like you do is bitch about men,
then complain that those men don't support you.

Having proponents of female sport constantly playing the victim and blaming men for their problems is not the way to win an audience.

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Haz  
Earlier this year

AFLW - you get free entry to matches, its clearly propped up by the AFL and Channel 7 will bend over backwards to protect their number 1 asset - football. Many of the high profile players made their fame playing other sports around the world, and as pointed out by FFT, they play up on the narrative that they always wanted to play footy to make their dads pround despite the fact they achieved greater things in other sports (paraphrasing a bit there but the point is valid)

Australian Netball or the 'Super suncorp league' - Its big, its great, it has channel 9 right behind it, it looks professional, most teams play in quality NBL arenas (unlike the WNBL), but its in cahoots with the AFL and NRL. They have their brand everywhere. The AFL have sister clubs representing them (eg Collingwood, GWS, west coast fever are called west coast because of some other popular west coast named team). The commentators even call games like they are AFL matches. They try to make it sound like AFL whenever there is a collision or some contact. They also have a similar narrative to AFLW.

With money, TV and the AFL behind both leagues essentially, both competitions are made to look better than they probably are.


The WNBL cant compete with this. Its similar to the Womens A-League. Unless someone with serious cash- money can give to the WNBL, it will stay as it is. It may even eventually get crushed out by the AFL agenda.

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