Women’s hockey deserves attention
February 19, 2009
The UW-River Falls women’s hockey team won the regular season title in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) after beating Finlandia 6-1 on Feb. 15.
They finished the regular season with a record of 13-2-1 in the NCHA and a 15-5-3 record overall, and have the best record of any UWRF varsity team.
Yet even with their great success, the attendance to their games remains extremely low compared to the men’s hockey team.
According to the NCHA’s official Web site, the average attendance to the UWRF men’s hockey games is 752 while the average women’s attendance is only 180.
The women’s hockey team (along with women’s basketball) is one of the only varsity teams at UWRF with a winning record, but they somehow get one fourth of the attendance the men do.
The Student Voice feels this is because the men are given preference of game times and are more heavily advertised than the women.
The men’s hockey team has represented UWRF well over the years, but the fact is that this year they just are not good.
The women should be given as much attention as the men, if not more in a situation such as this.
In some ways, the two teams are equal in coverage, such as on the UWRF Athletics Web site and in the Student Voice.
But around town, the attention for the men’s team dwarfs the women’s. There are posters and schedules for the men in local businesses, not to mention the sandwich boards that are all around River Falls.
These signs can be found in front of the University Center, in front of Hunt Arena, at the corner of Cascade Avenue and Main Street and on the other side of town by Walgreens.
No such signs are posted for the women.
The men also receive the prime timeslots for their games—usually 7 p.m. on weekends. Even when the men are away, the women’s weekend games are usually played in the afternoon.
The combination of the lack of advertising for the team and having games in the afternoon when people are busy with other things could be driving the women’s attendance down.
With their victory to clinch the regular season title at Finlandia, the Falcon women have earned the right to host the NCHA playoffs. It would be embarrassing for this University to host the entire NCHA playoff tournament and have no attendance to the event.
While the men have fallen short this season, the women have performed admirably, and students and citizens of River Falls should come out to support them during the playoffs.