Sexism in Sports? Lessons Learned from RHS Girls vs Boys Basketball

It’s no secret that sexism plays an important factor in the popularity and regulation of sports– it has for many years and will continue to do so for many years to come. Our high school sports programs are relatively highly ranked – our most popular athletic programs being football, soccer, track and field, swim, and basketball. Getting into our more underappreciated sports like tennis and bowling is a whole other story, being that anyone involved in these sports displays the same amount of commitment and effort, but gets no praise in return. However, being underappreciated may just be happening in popular sports like basketball as well.

I decided to perform a little experiment. What was the difference between RHS girls and boys varsity basketball? Going to these games, I was looking at the audience, the crowd reaction, our Dawg Pound, and even little things down to ticket prices. How did these things display an underappreciation and sexism for girls basketball? Let’s start with the girls game I went to.

I attended the Becton game on January 10th. The game was intense and interesting, of course, since they’re our rivals. Coaches were screaming from both sides, and Becton played a physical game, with one player accusing a Rutherford player of tripping her (which she did not appear to do); as someone who is not so interested in basketball, I was entertained. However, the crowd was boring. While the bleachers were filled with family members, the student section had a whopping total of 9 students, including myself.

Madison returns to NJS2G2 finals, defeats Rutherford - Girls basketball  recap (PHOTOS) -
Image from Madison vs Rutherford, curtesy of

Student/senior prices for each game remained the same at $2, but the adult price at the girls’ game was $6 while the boys’ game I attended was $4. Understandable, since it was a big game against Lyndhurst. This was on January 29th, and when I walked in, I was not expecting there to be absolutely no room for me to sit. Music was blasting, and the bleachers were packed not just with family members this time but with our Dawg Pound too. Students had cardboard cutouts for their star players and the police even made an appearence to monitor maximum capacity. It was bordering on a football-like atmosphere.

Lyndhurst clinches NJIC National title, downs Rutherford - Boys basketball  photos -
Image from Lyndhurst vs Rutherford, curtesy of

It made me wonder, would our Dawg Pound show this same level of support for a big girls’ basketball game, like the one against Madison?

February 28th, the girls played hard and unfortunately were defeated by Madison, and my thoughts were disproven – to an extent. The atmosphere was pretty close to the one of the boys game I was at. However, the boys had already lost and were no longer playing. Could this be the reason why they started showing up for the girls game? It’s hard to tell. Something that remained constant, though, was the drive and skill of all of the players, and the positive reinforcement and encouragement they received from the Dance Team.

I would never wholeheartedly doubt the Dawg Pound’s support for popular sports like basketball, but even when they do show up, it’s just not the same as how they do so for the boys. All in all, there is still work to be done to even the playing field when it comes to supporting our Lady Bulldogs.