College Ballers Bring Babes In

JCR basketball takes unprecedented step in introducing gender quotas.

Bob Marley told us “no woman, no cry”. The JCR basketball league have taken a slightly different tact: “no woman, no play”.

Under new rules this year, the league now requires all teams to field at least one female player for all matches, as an initiative to encourage female participation in the sport.

Here are some dunk faces to rival the best of them

The move was explained to us by league coordinator Zoe Fannon, who said: “I have met several women who would like to play basketball in Oxford but didn’t know how to go about it.

“Ideally we would have a separate women’s league [but] we have no way of organising one…the mixed teams are kind of an interim strategy which will help us to get more women involved in basketball at a college level.”

Better times…Hall of Fame NBA player Bill Bradley was at Oxford for one year, as figuratively every inch of space at the Iffley Road sports complex is keen to tell you.

The league was formally a male league until this year, although as in all sports, women have participated previously; Fannon says the move creates “an impetus for the college league captains to make an effort to find and encourage the female players in their colleges”.

Watch out boys

However, privately, several JCR captains have cried foul. In spite of small team sizes and routine combination of colleges, many teams struggle to field a team on match day already, with the sport remaining very much a niche one at the university.

The uni have long had a women’s side

Practices such as 3-on-3 games and loaning players to the other team remain common, and there are fears that the move will cause further disarray in an already-struggling league.

With the season kicking off this week, the Tab understands that games are already being forfeited because of the quota; Wednesday’s game between St Peter’s and Teddy Hall is one such confirmed victim.

Rigorous training underpins every college team

Fannon defended the quota as “incentivising college teams to recruit more actively”, and said: “Ultimately, I think that college sport is mostly about encouraging as many people in the university as possible to play sports”.

Not sure forfeits galore will achieve that, Zoe…