to think I should be allowed to play in the men's team

(56 Posts)
ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 12:25:10

The local badminton league has no women's league but has a mixed league and a men's league.

For those not immersed in the world of badminton, mixed is essentially a different game to the 'levels' version played in men's / women's leagues.

I don't particularly enjoy playing mixed and would much prefer to play on the men's team.

The local league rules allow women to play in the men's league however the men's team captain has stated that women will only play on the mens team as a last resort (ie when it's that or not get a team out at all) because apparently it would be humiliating for men to play women (and lose grin).

So yes...I am being unreasonable to think I should get the same shot at the men's team as everyone else?

Phosphene Thu 07-Mar-13 12:29:04


It's for men.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Thu 07-Mar-13 12:30:45

Start your own women's team so you won't be around sexist fools.

JacqueslePeacock Thu 07-Mar-13 12:30:55

YANB at all U. Especially if the rules already sanction women playing in the men's team. Can you appeal the decision? And did he actually say it would be "humiliating"?! Clearly he thinks you are going to wallop them.

RobotLover68 Thu 07-Mar-13 12:31:44

YANBU I play squash and play for the ladies team - however some ladies are too good for the ladies team so play in the mens teams - one man in our men's team keeps being beaten by an 11 year old girl - she is England ranked!

Thumbwitch Thu 07-Mar-13 12:32:14

Why do you want to play on the men's team? Is it because the play is better and you are above the standard of the mixed teams? Because if so, then YANB that U - you want to play to the best of your ability and have decent competition.

But I can also see their point - they don't like losing to women.

If the rules say women can play, women should be able to play - his reasons are discriminatory shite.

However, it's a pity there isn't a women's team.

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 12:33:02

to be honest the 'humiliation' angle is the most annoying thing.

Getting beaten is getting beaten. I don't feel it more if it is by a man or a woman. I don't celebrate a win against a man more than a woman...unless it is this particular bloke who I do get a little tiny extra frisson of excitement over.

If they don't like losing to women, they should learn to play better, shouldn't they? I didn't know being in possession of a vagina made you suddenly enamoured of getting beaten in competitions, so I expect women don't like losing either. hmm

Honestly, what a load of 1880s rubbish.

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 12:34:37

the standard probably is higher in the mens league than the mixed...but mostly it is just a different game.

Even when myself and my partner play 'level', it is different playing against a team that has one very strong and one weaker player than playing against two players of roughly equal strength.

The tactics are different and the feel of the game is different.

Thumbwitch Thu 07-Mar-13 12:35:12

Yeah, but that's because you are a woman, isn't it. wink

When I said I could see their point, btw, that doesn't mean I agreed with it - just I know it happens. not looking at you DH, OH no, definitely not

CockyFox Thu 07-Mar-13 12:35:31

I think YANBU to want to play in the men's team but YABU to expect then to let you when there is a separate mixed league. YANBU to not want to play in the mixed league if it is so different and YWNBU to demand a womens team at your club, with or without girly footstamping and diva-ness.

Thumbwitch Thu 07-Mar-13 12:36:15

Sorry, xpost makes mine look silly - I was responding to your previous post. smile

It does happen, true.

It also happens that the response is a gale of laughter and 'FFS's, I think. grin

If they'd said it's a men's team full stop, I think it would be ok, it's just saying women can play as a last resort is really nasty.

No, I got it, I was just being snarky. At the menz, not at you. grin

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 12:39:45

I am stumped as to why in general you need separate leagues for men and women.

I mean if players are different standards then they tend to stratify in a league. Stronger teams at the top and weaker at the bottom. So why not just have a single league with several divisions and let people find their level irrespective of sexual organs, which the last time I checked don't have a massive role to play on court.

eachtigertires Thu 07-Mar-13 12:42:03

Yanbu, I find that you tend to get a better quality of game when you play against the men if you are at a small club with not that many women.

Bluegrass Thu 07-Mar-13 12:45:09

If they let up play just because you want to, how would the men's league then differ from the mixed league? Wouldn't you potentially have opponent complaining:

" it is different playing against a team that has one very strong and one weaker player than playing against two players of roughly equal strength.

The tactics are different and the feel of the game is different."

Presumably if they let you play they would have to let other women play in the "mens" league?

flowery Thu 07-Mar-13 12:51:39

Why wouldn't your team captain want to field the best team. Why is he worried about the opposition feeling humiliated? Isn't that a good thing? confused

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 12:55:41

blu hmmm

There is nothing to stop a men's pairing being very unequal in strength either I suppose.

We played a mixed match last night. If the strengths of the individuals in the team are 1,2,3,4,5,6 from best to worst then we played as:

1+2, 3+6 and 4+5. So only one of our teams was unbalanced.

The opposition played as 1+5, 2+6 and 3+4 and all three teams were very unbalanced because there was a massive difference between 123 (men) and 456 (women).

In a levels match regardless of how many of the team are men and women, you would play 1+2, 3+4 and 5+6. There is a massive advantage to having the pairings as even as possible.

That's the big difference. In mixed format the pairs are fixed to be one of each and often come out wildly unbalanced...whereas in levels you can mix up however you can to generate the 3 most balanced pairs.

Hence playing levels is a different experience to playing mixed even if every team is still male female....

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Thu 07-Mar-13 12:56:34

If you don't have to be of one sex or another, why call it a "men's" league at all? Why not just be a league in which the best players play? confused

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 12:57:59

flowery dunno....although it occurs to me that thrashing him at singles probably wasn't the best move to get myself on the team regardless of gender issues....

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 12:59:04

ariel well yes...they could just relabel it as an 'open' league instead of a 'men's league that allows women'.

Would save a lot of hassle.

I had a big rant about this the other day. There are so many sports where women are perfectly able to compete at the same level of men, and to still have separate leagues is nothing but traditional sexist bullshit.

Oh no, the poor men might be upset by being beaten by a woman! And what does this tell us loud and clear? That men are of the opinion that they are superior to women.

Keep arguing. There must be some higher legal authority you can appeal to.

MrsBethel Thu 07-Mar-13 13:08:02


I don't see why the captain should be so interested in people's genital situation.

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 13:08:55

bethal ha! I will use that in the next argument smile

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 13:11:14

tbh I am not sure there is ever a reason for separate leagues....

It's not like sport is a level playing field in any shape or form. You don't see separate basketball leagues for people under 6 foot, or sprinting for people with shorter legs....

to say once you have split it into men and women it is somehow 'fair' is horseshit.

AThingInYourLife Thu 07-Mar-13 13:19:14

Do the rest of the team know about their captain's extreme sensitivity to the male pride if their opponents?

Or woukd they all rather be beaten by men than win with a woman on the team?

Primrose123 Thu 07-Mar-13 13:22:30


I think it should just be a league, not a men's league.

I play badminton in a club, don't play in a league though, and I'm OK, not brilliant, but I can beat some of the men. Badminton isn't really a man or woman thing, it's more about skill and speed. Obviously strength matters too, and generally I agree that men are usually physically stronger than women.

Out of interest OP, if you play a game of mixed doubles, do you play at the net, as you are the woman and that is your 'place'? I don't. I hate playing at the net, I much prefer to be at the back of the court. We always swap players in the club, and I was playing with a man once, who wasn't that good, and he sort of pointed and grunted at me to stand in front of him as he served. This really wound me up, so I told him very politely that I didn't like playing at the front of the court all of the time, and would be playing sides, or back and front to cover each other. I find it really insulting that some man expects me to do as I'm told!

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 13:31:35

prim ha! me play at the net? Not likely - I am SHIT at the net. That's why I initially declined playing on the mixed team...I only got sucked in coz they couldn't get a team out.

Nah I play with the men's captain and HE plays at the net and I run around the back....well that's what happened last night...probably coz the opposition kept trying to hit it back over my head....

It is always surprising to me that people don't at any point think to themselves...oh this tactic isn't working. But no...all night playing the shots I love from the back....numpties.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 07-Mar-13 14:04:12


Why don't you ask the National Governing Body?

Chief Executive is

I know nothing about badminton by the way but I think you make a very fair point.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 07-Mar-13 14:06:37

Sorry - with linkys

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 07-Mar-13 14:07:25

Also the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation may be able to help...

EauRouge Thu 07-Mar-13 14:19:42

'Last resort' 'humiliating to be beaten by a woman' shock shock shock

Wow, what century is this guy in? If you're good enough to be on the team, you should be on the team. Why choose someone who might not be as good as you just because they have a wang? It's not like a penis is essential equipment required to play the game, is it? This is silly and the reason he gave you for you not being allowed in is rude and sexist. YANBU.

YANBU - if the rules state you can play in the mens league they should let you.

I love badminton

Any chance you could start a womens league at all? Enough Interest?

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 15:56:00

Just not enough people for a womens league. Although given everyone can manage a mixed team I suppose we could play a format based on 3 or 4 people....

hmm maybe

A v A
C v C
BD v BD?

Would still be crap as we have destroyed opposition women....can't really imagine playing them at doubles let alone singles....

I must admit, I am used to playing DH and DBIL so I play quite tough, cant imagine playing singles with other women.........I like to play hard smile

I love singles, not keen on doubles, like to know if I lose it's my fault.

MorphandChas Thu 07-Mar-13 16:42:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Is there are reason why our responses should be the same, morph, out of interest?

Mine would be: if someone said men could play as a last resort, but that women found it embarrassing to lose to them, I would think that was wrong too, albeit for slightly different reasons since the cultural attitudes towards women being beaten by men are not the same as those towards men being beaten by women.

But I'm curious why you seem to be implying it'd be wrong not to think the same of a different situation?

MorphandChas Thu 07-Mar-13 16:58:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

If they need to stay exclusively men, that's one thing - but it's not what the OP is describing. She says they've already got a rule saying women can join in. Presumably this pre-dates the current captain who is insisting it'd be too humiliating for the men if he followed the rules.

MorphandChas Thu 07-Mar-13 17:07:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 17:27:32

There is no symmetry here as there is no women's league.

I think in any given league system there should be initially an open league. To encourage participation across the board. If that gets filled up then they can start opening niche divisions for the 'can't stand man cooties', 'can't stand woman cooties' and 'love playing in unbalanced partnerships' subsections of society.

But seriously, at the local league level, my gender is no more a limitation of my performance than my hair you may as well ask why shouldn't someone set up a red heads only league?

Yes, they certainly might, but that's not the reason the captain put foward.

I can see why there are often reasons why women's teams are best being single-sex, and sometimes also reasons why men's teams are, but I don't think the OP should have to accept this as a reason when the rules do not support it and it is offensive and discriminatory to her.

Sorry, that was to morph not IC, in case it's not obvious.

ventilatormum Thu 07-Mar-13 19:22:21

i find this strangely fascinating - and I have never played badminton. Levels, leagues, all very interesting.
What makes a female player different from a man? Apart from the obvious (her sex), is she weaker? slower? less skilled?
surely if the club wants to put out the best team it should pick the best players, regardless of sex.
Who decides if you are a female or a male player? For example, if a stranger turned up at the club and it was impossible to tell male or female, would he/she not be put with players of a similar standard? would anyone go up to him/her and demand proof of gender?
Why not just buy a t shirt which proclaims "I am male", wear it and let the opposition challenge your gender, if they dared. (P S I am assuming you look more female than male).
What happens if you get a brilliant junior, can you play him/her in a senior team? or would the captain think seniors would not like being beaten by a junior.
Hey ho. Just some idle musing.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Thu 07-Mar-13 19:40:42

ventilatormum I haven't played badminton competitively for years, well since 1993 if I'm honest, so can't really answer that from an adult club player's perspective. I was an ok player - captained the school team, which was top of our league, but couldn't beat any of the boys of the same age. Just could never do it. Maybe I just didn't try hard enough, but they were faster and stronger and so they beat me.

LessMissAbs Thu 07-Mar-13 19:46:25

I thought it was pretty much given that women play/race/compete against men when a similar level of performance?

I'd simply insist, turn up and start playing.

I bet the sports centre or team or some structure involved has got public funding at some point, which is covered by a duty to be non-discriminatory, so they risk losing that if a complaint of sex discrimination is upheld...

Agree that it shouldn't be called a "men's league" anyway.

Fillyjonk75 Thu 07-Mar-13 19:51:05

I think if you're the right standard, it doesn't matter what gender you are.

ReallyTired Thu 07-Mar-13 21:11:18

A similar parallel is the cathedral church choirs who were forced to set up girl choirs and boy choirs or have mixed choirs. A badminton league should have equal opportunites for both sexes otherwise its illegal. If there are are not enough players for a women's league then it should be an open league. There is nothing wrong with having a "mens league" if there is is a women's league.

Clearly the OP is better at badminton than many men.

Are there any other teams you could play for or a league in a different town? I suggest you contact Badminton England.

Whoknowswhocares Thu 07-Mar-13 21:33:17

For what it's worth, many leagues do run with a 4 person team. Each person in team plays as a 'number' 1 being the best player, 4 the worst.
You play with each of the team members but always play against the corresponding numbered player on the opposition.
EG. You are player 1. You play every game where your number comes up......
1 and 2 of each team play first, then
3 and 4
1 And 3
2 and 4
1 and 4
2 and 3
So 6 points up for grabs in total.

Having said all that, I'd move clubs. Probably travel a bit further to a better standard league, with proper women's teams. Oh, and stick with the mixed, it will improve your overall game no end to sort out your short game!

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 23:23:57

It's certainly going to be hard to hide my post DD G-cup boobs....and try and pass for male....

Gah life is too short for sticking with mixed....I find it stressful and limiting to spend all my time at the net.

Theres no point spending your precious free time doing less that what you might.

Actually if I took that previous sentence seriously I would indeed leave and join a new club.

Oh well...some pondering to do.

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 23:25:04

who yes I think I have played that before now I think of it....We could do that. Or they could relabel it as an open league and we could all get on happily...

mollymole Fri 08-Mar-13 09:57:20

If you had a womens league/team would you let men play in it ?

ReallyTired Fri 08-Mar-13 10:10:39

"If you had a womens league/team would you let men play in it ? "

If there were no men's league then it would be unfair to have a women's only league. Either there should be two seperate leagues for men and women or one open league. It is wrong that the men can play in two leagues (ie. the mens and the mixed) and the women can only play in one league (ie.the mixed)

The mixed league is a totally different game because it follows different rules to the men.

Primrose123 Fri 08-Mar-13 17:54:43

ha! me play at the net? Not likely - I am SHIT at the net.

It's certainly going to be hard to hide my post DD G-cup boobs....and try and pass for male....

ICBINEG Are you sure you're not actually me? We sound awfully alike! grin

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