Hey #WoSo, Why Not?

Soccer should be played on grass. Grass requires a dwindling resource – water. Communities are trying to preserve “green” space for people to enjoy. Why not combine grass soccer fields with “green” space to maximize water conservation. In many communities grass soccer fields might be the only “green” space they can afford. I’m sure it’s more complicated, but why isn’t this part of the conversation about soccer on grass?

I’ve said it on twitter and since heard a variation on the podcast “2 Drunk Fans” – In order to promote the NWSL during the USWNT Victory Tour, why not have players wear their team jerseys during warmups? I’d like them to wear them during the games, but that might be too hard to get by FIFA rules. Abby could be the lone player in the NT warmup. 10 chances to expose NWSL to new markets and fans, that’s a huge return with absolutely no marketing investment. What say you US Soccer? In addition, opponents who have domestic women’s leagues could do the same with their players. I know it would boost the Westfield W-League in Australia, for example.

NWSL teams who are not offering season tickets sales for 2016 truly puzzle me. Even if USWNT did not win the World Cup interest would have spiked. Even if a team is not sure of their venue for next season they could accept season ticket deposits. Even someone who is just a fan, like me, can figure that out.

Why not?

So Much #WoSo

Yikes, when it rains it pours!

Lots of WoSo thoughts, so I’ll just put them out here randomly, you can decide their importance

  • Lori Chalupny back in the USWNT mix!! Can’t say how overdue or how excited I am to see if she’s still got it at NT level (my opinion is YES she does!)
  • NCAA semi’s!! Good as it get in US soccer this time of year. 4 teams, all worthy. Can’t wait to see who comes out the winner. My choice, UCLA,  has been eliminated, so I’ll just be happy for whoever wins.
  • FIFA’s Vackle is an ass. He is clueless when it comes to talking to/about women and has no understanding of the reason for the turf v grass debate.
  • No matter who makes the USWNT roster there will always be someone who wants to pick at it. Can’t we just take a day to celebrate those players who have made it before the conversation deteriorates into who should have made it and who is unworthy? Please?
  • Brazil is a seeded team for WWC 2015? Seriously? Ease of draw shouldn’t be a consideration.
  • Jill Ellis has far more of a clue than most anyone wants to give her credit for. Just because everyone’s favorite players aren’t in the mix doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a vision for the team. Might not agree with yours, but then whose would?
  • Student-athletes who garner academic honors are rock stars! They must be the masters of time-management.
  • It’s 2014, when are men in power going to understand that it does nothing to serve you to be condescending to women. Nothing. Yes, I’m still talking about Vackle.
  • WoSo gives me life.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to contribute in the comments.

 

 

This Chaps My (Gr)Ass

I read an article today at The Equalizer written by Duane Rollins about artificial turf (AT) for the Women’s World Cup 2015 in Canada. It’s not the first article I’ve read and I certainly hope it’s not the last, but this one got under my skin.

In the article, Mr. Rollins quoted Sandra Gage, chief marketing and communications officer for the organizing committee as saying ,

“We’re very comfortable with the decision that was made to play all (games) on artificial turf.”

“Going forward we do not see changing (the decision).”

You’ll have to read The Equalizer article to see the rest, but this was enough to get me hot under the collar and start my mind churning.

I started to wonder what the consequences might be of having the first ever senior level FIFA event contested entirely on artificial turf. This is what I came up with, in no particular order of importance.

Players have the perception, be it real or not, that playing on AT leads to increased chance of injury. I say real or not because you can find all manner of opinions and “findings” on the matter and even though the prevailing opinion among non-players is that the risk is not increased, it’s a hard sell to both men and women players actually on the AT pitch. So much of a players game is mental that this alone could lead to more injuries and has to be considered a tick in the minus column –

AT fields take a bigger physical toll on player’s bodies over the course of a tournament. -tick

Teams that play on grass in their home countries will be at a disadvantage. – tick

If this tournament is played entirely on AT, as Sandra Gage says it will be, it will surely be used as a wedge to get other senior level tournaments played on AT.  Men’s WC2018 on AT anyone? – tick

The difference between artificial turf and grass will fundamentally change the way the game is played. Some will argue this isn’t the case, but all I have to do is point you to field hockey. The billiard table-like surface the game is played on now is a far cry from any natural grass pitch, no matter how well manicured. It has made the game so fast paced you will be hard pressed to follow the action, it is like ice hockey, minus the imperfections of the ice. I know, AT is not like a billiard table..not yet. – tick

AT, no matter what the rating, is not grass. The game was invented to be played on grass, with all it’s imperfections and charm. Do you think you will ever see the game of golf played on AT (other than the putt-putt variety)? In some communities the grass sports fields are the only green spaces for miles. Converting the acceptable way to play all these sports from grass to AT will only be incentive for communities to install substandard AT fields in place of natural grass. Not to mention that the acceptance of AT has already encouraged the multi-stripe field.

And at the end of the day, if you really must change something..make it the number of referees, or goal-line technology (I will die a slow death for that one). Let’s change the inequality between the treatment of players between the men’s and women’s game. Let’s change the culture of racism and homophobia. Let’s make the venues safe for all to come watch the ‘Beautiful Game’ on natural grass, as was always intended.

Money is, and always has been, a big consideration, but some things transcend their dollar and cents value and become valuable on another level and sometimes that justifies the expense. Some things are just meant to be the way they were invented and envisioned. I love that soccer/football is known as ‘The Beautiful Game’, I don’t want that to go away because the surface the game is played on changes the way the game is played.

I’m sure there are other things I haven’t thought of yet, feel free to enlighten me in the comments.

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