While 2018 has been widely described in socio-political context as the ‘Year of the Woman', obstacle course racing was over 3 years ahead of the game with female domination in the sport as 2015 was a booming year with most OCR events witnessing a 50% registration rate from females. Before we get too pleased with the diversity level in OCR as a worldwide sport, have we done enough as community members in the sport to keep female participation high, or are the ‘competitive' levels of women in the sport declining to meet the sports/gender perceived bias described in the following article? Mud Run Guide is proud to support all athletes regardless of any classifications through Badass Women of OCR, Faces at the Races, Community Members of the Week, and we are consistently looking for new avenues to promote the sport of OCR for the good of all participants.

See also: Standardizing Failure? An Examination of the 100% Obstacle Completion Discrepancy between Men and Women at OCRWC and Beyond

Editor's Note: We found this content provided by TicketGum interesting. MRG has no affiliation with TicketGum.

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  • Less than half of sports fans perceive women’s sports to be competitive, in comparison to the 63% that find men’s sports more competitive.
  • Unsurprisingly, the men’s FIFA World Cup was the sporting event the public had the highest awareness of at 84% compared to just 63% of fans who knew the women’s World Cup was taking place.
  • Despite having a current interest of 43%, women’s soccer has a potential fanbase of over 100 million.

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Sport was once inherently run by men, which could explain why most sports continue to be male-dominated. It isn’t a coincidence that The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is the most recognized body in women’s sport as it was founded by its very own players in 1973. Leading the way for women’s sports to become more widely acknowledged and commercialized.

Last year saw a massive shift for women’s sports, with the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 watched by around 150 million people. The rate of change within women’s sports has since become an exciting trend in the sporting world, encouraging new opportunities to engage a wider audience and develop interesting commercial propositions; creating a stronger sense of equality.

With an interest in the rise of women’s sports, sporting specialists, Ticketgum.com analyzed Nielsen Sports report entitled ‘The Rise of Women’s Sports 2018(registration required), to investigate the current interest in women’s sporting events.

Unsurprisingly, when comparing the general awareness that surrounds gendered sporting events, men had a much larger knowledge of their sporting calendar.

The FIFA World Cup predictably topped the list with a staggering awareness of 84% for men’s soccer in comparison to the 63% of sports fans who were aware that the Women’s World Cup was taking place; a difference of 19%.

Ticketgum.com also found stark differences between other prevalent sporting events. These are the other top four individual sports according to gender with the highest awareness recorded:
The UEFA Champions League (69%), the Rugby World Cup (64%), FIFA Women’s World Cup (63%) and the men’s ATP Tennis Tour (52%).

At the other end of the scale, these are sporting events that had an awareness of less than 50%:

The women’s WTA Tennis Tour (49%), UEFA Women’s Champions League (48%), PGA European Golf Tour (44%), the women’s Rugby World Cup (42%) and finally the Ladies European Golf Tour with 29%.

Despite four of the top five sports with the highest awareness consisting of men’s sporting events, 45% of the general population stated they would consider attending live women’s sports events, whilst 46% said they would watch women’s sports more if it was easily accessible on free TV; therefore increasing an awareness of the events and interest levels.

When comparing the current appeal in women’s sports, interest levels were greater when men and women’s events were staged together (although the sport is separate gender). For example, Mixed Martial Arts (79%) has a much higher interest than when played separately.

However, some women’s sports do not garner an equal playing field of interest from a potentially vast fan base. Soccer has more than 105 million potential fans, yet women’s football only attracts 43% of fan interest.

Other female sports seemingly not capitalizing on reaching wider audiences compared to their potential fan base include:

Golf (interest 61% vs. 52M potential fans), Cricket (interest 52% vs. 46M potential fans) and Basketball (interest 43% vs. 72M potential fans).


*UK, US, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

You can download a complete version of this article in PDF format here: US Women's Sports Press Release