FIBA’s flaws hit women’s football particularly hard
I fell a bit last week reporting on the senior women’s basketball team as they went through the stages and played a few games in Japan in what turned out to be a trip halfway around the world for a few practices and a few matches. it didn’t mean anything.
You think you know the reason: what was originally a World Cup qualifying tournament with four teams vying for three places – which in itself seems ridiculous to me – was reduced to three when Belarus is withdrawn due to COVID concerns. This left Canada, Japan and Bosnia & Herzegovina playing a round robin mainly because they all had to do something since arriving in Osaka anyway.
Canada was doing well, Bridget Carleton dominated in her victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina and the women lost in overtime to Olympic silver medalists Japan and new Canadian coach Victor Lapena ushered in his era in triumphal fashion.
And I had a nice reception in the locker room after the team’s victory.
But here are some issues with FIBA and what they have been doing trying to outdo themselves with a new Women’s World Cup format.
First of all, they reduced the field in Australia to just 12 teams, compared to 16 in Spain in 2018. This in itself is a slap in the face for world women’s basketball when you consider that FIBA will organize a World Cup. men’s world to 32 teams. in 2023.
That doesn’t seem fair to me in any way; the women’s field should be significantly larger than 12 and the men’s field should be reduced by at least eight because the 25-32 teams in world basketball are probably just skyrocketing accommodation costs for the nations hosting the tournament.
That’s obviously wrong, isn’t it? Now FIBA is not FIFA, and it’s certainly not the IOC or the NCAA, but any group that in the 2020s reduces opportunities for women and improves them for me and pretends to caring about the growth of the sport worldwide so everyone can’t drop the ball like that and think it won’t go unnoticed.
This is simply untrue and thankfully it didn’t mean Canada didn’t qualify, but if it did, the game overseers would be wrong to screw it up like that.
The qualification process for men and women seems to me to be little more than transferring the costs incurred with the qualification to more countries.
Canada gets screwed on the men’s side because the ‘windows’ rob them of any chance to develop continuity and having to bear the costs of hosting a handful of games is, frankly, an unnecessary ordeal.
You can’t get the best players often enough – FIBA didn’t negotiate a release with even EuroLeague teams when they went headlong into the qualification change; will likely lose money hosting each set of two games in each window; will qualify easily, which could mean a false sense of success ahead of the World Cup.
And the treatment of the female game is close to shame; it’s great that Canada has such a dedicated group of female athletes who always, always, always answer the call, but put them in the position of having to fly halfway around the world for no more than three games n makes no sense.
Either way, it’s the rant. Congratulations to Lapena, his chief assistant Noelle Quinn, remaining staff members Steve Baur and Carly Clarke and the women who performed.
And a pox on the house of FIBA.
Oh yes, Happy Valentine’s Day to all who are celebrating.
I settle into my seat to complete the flight – the Atlanta-New Orleans leg – and the monitor in the seat in front of me has free network TV so I can watch Super Bowl hijinks from about 17 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and I think that makes Delta my new favorite US carrier.
The anthems I thought were as well done as anything I remember having Billie Jean King toss the coin was awesome and while I think The Rock was a bit too much the whole pre-game stuff was under -estimated and very good, overall.
The game was really good, the half could now challenge U2 as second best behind Prince, Super Bowl and although the NFL draws their championship game was above average as an experience.
That was yesterday’s offer as they took the day off and it will be interesting to see how they handle the final two games before the break.
No bad teams, interesting matchups with JV tonight and KAT on Wednesday and I think they’re going to have to rely on a lot of their mental toughness to get through this week.
Ok, I’m in the central time zone with a lot of “you can’t get there from here without connecting” flights this week, so I have no idea when that will show up.
Stick with me, I’ll be fine, but if you want to start filling the mailbag at email@example.com, do it today.
Yesterday was a juggernaut, that’s for sure.
It’s going to be a pretty low long journey for a variety of reasons like staying healthy, resting, and, well, a good amount of work.
I didn’t even look at Bourbon Street last night, I don’t know if I’ll be going to Cafe du Monde for donuts today, but if anyone has a nice little place in Minneapolis for dinner tomorrow, I’m all hearing.
After that it’s Cleveland and Charlotte and I’ve spent so much time there it’ll be fine.
It’s funny, though, a trip that’s flight, game day, flight, game day, flight, all-star weekend, flight, a few days in Charlotte sounds crazy but it’s really just like old times and I can not wait to be there .
I’m not sure I want to do 35 road games a year anymore – I’m not sure I can survive 35 road games a year anymore – but that kind of activity is in some ways invigorating.
Now, if American Airlines is as good as Delta, that will make it even more palatable.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION