For years men have argued that size matters. Well, some of us anyway. Bigger has always been better, from value meals to SUV’s. Duke’s women’s basketball coach doesn’t think so however, at least in terms of the basketball. After a loss to Florida State University, it was discovered that the girls spent the first half playing with a man’s ball. And in Duke’s case, missing most every shot they took. Now, Duke’s coach wants to appeal the loss. Apparently, she doesn’t like the idea that her team was playing with a man’s ball, if only for a half. Check this out.
Duke and Florida State women’s basketball played the entire first half of their recent matchup with a men’s ball, according to Blue Devils’ head coach Kara Lawson.
It’s been nearly a week since the contest, but Lawson is still frustrated by the situation.
Following Duke’s win over Pitt on Thursday night, Lawson ended her press conference by speaking about the ball error during her team’s loss at FSU this past Sunday.
“This would never happen in a men’s game. This would never happen,” Lawson said. “It’s embarrassing for our sport.”
How in the hell can there be a "womens" basketball when a man and a woman are indistinguishable?https://t.co/lQqtpaIKRP
— Agent 86 (@abearze34) February 3, 2023
Lawson has a point. While it is embarrassing enough that the girls, who clamor for equal airtime, and in the pro ranks equal pay have to play with a smaller ball to accommodate their smaller hands, but no one thought to check the equipment and make sure it was an actual ladies ball, and not the kind you find on most college campuses. We are talking about an actual basketball. Perhaps the balls should be striped, or have “Nerf” or “Fischer Price” written on them? Just a thought. An error like that would never be made in a men’s game, and it’s unfortunate that Duke and Florida State had to deal with bigger balls. The measurements are subtle, but the women’s ball is smaller and easier to grip. The only problem with Lawson’s gripe is both teams had to play with the big ball, and Florida State didn’t seem to be affected.
It’s not so easy to guard Jade Williams Duke womens basketball 🏀 pic.twitter.com/pTkDbE7LOq
— Kelly (@Williamskidmom) October 12, 2017
The wrong-sized ball was discovered at halftime after Duke went just 7-for-34 from the field in the opening half. A Duke assistant went to check on the ball at the scorer’s table, which is when game officials changed the ball to start the second half.
Lawson told the media that she wanted to appeal the game, but the conference wouldn’t let her.
She understands that both team’s played with the exact same ball in the first half, which FSU led 30-22 at the break, but then made the ‘what if’ argument if the proper-sized ball was used throughout the game.
“Let me be clear: Florida State beat us,” Lawson said. “They beat us playing with a men’s ball in the first half and a women’s ball in the second half. But I can’t say if we’d have played with a women’s ball in the first half and the second half that we would have won. But they can’t say that, either.”
It is surprising that none of the players noticed the difference. Even though these girls handle balls on a daily basis, the subtle difference in diameter and weight should have been noticed. Then again, unlike Pride month, you don’t expect to have the wrong equipment either. The circumference of a men’s ball is one inch larger than a women’s ball, plus it weighs two ounces more than the ball. It is certainly a bad look for a sport that is constantly being propped up and pushed by ESPN despite no real interest from the sports consuming public. Women’s basketball struggles at all levels with interest and attendance, and playing a half with the wrong ball only makes the sport look more ridiculous.
featured image screengrab from embedded Tweet
"*" indicates required fields