On old chesnut, women & men's comps

KidCurry

Well-known member
Yes, but 2 years is a long time in gender equality awareness :)
 


ben tarrow

Active member
I doubt it's a sense of comfort and laziness on the part of female competitors meaning they fail to lead the way.
Until the need to remove men's and women's competitions can be proved they should stay.
Yes, but 2 years is a long time in gender equality awareness :)
For starters, not wishing to rehash old ground, but fewer women take part in sport than men. When did you last/ever see women outnumber men on the shooting line? The smaller your pool, the smaller your number of achievers at any level.
I dont have the answers but surely removing competition in which women can be seen to be achieving is not a way to encourage more women to take part?
Is equality about making one competition/prize for which men and women compete equally OR is it making the competition the same for men and women so they can compete equally against their own peer group? Winners breed better winners.
 


KidCurry

Well-known member
Is equality about making one competition/prize for which men and women compete equally OR is it making the competition the same for men and women so they can compete equally against their own peer group? Winners breed better winners.
It's neither. Equality is about providing opportunity for all genders, race, disability and beliefs to compete on their own terms, to be allowed to pursue their own goals without being constrained by others. From the lack of female comments over the years I would say archery is doing a pretty good job.
 


ATH

New member
This is an old chestnut... old enough that I've already got data on it to hand!

These are the the percentiles of scores for international archers shooting at world cups, world champs and the like in a recent four year period. As some people seem to often suggest theres not much difference at the top end, this is a useful check to see what the numbers actually look like. For example shooting a 664/720 puts you in the 95th percentile of female recurve scores at this level and as a result makes you a likely international medal contender in the RW category. The same score on the recurve mens side puts you in the 85th percentile, and firmly in the peloton rather than the leading pack. The same applies for those further away from the top. 631 is a 55th percentile score in the RW category, making it just above average at international tournaments. For RM, the same score lands you in the 30th percentile; meaning if its a big tournament with more than 150 archers you may not even make the cut to 104 for matches.

mf_scorepercentiles.png

People often correctly point out though that there are examples, cases of women outshooting men, in certain finals matches, mixed team events or just at open competitions where there aren't divisions. And this is certainly true. The question is, does it happen enough to make a true open division fair? If it was then the qualifying round should have even scores as well, so looking at the same data in a slightly different way, seeing the distribution of scores should be revealing.

mf_scoredistributions.png

So what is obvious from this is that within each bowstyle, there is a big overlap, ie lots of male and female recurve archers are shooting 630s, 640s, 650s. This we know already. But the peaks are centred in different places (the mean RW score is 621, the mean RM is 638), and especially as you move to the extremes in either direction one is significantly higher than the other.

This is why whenever anyone chimes in with "I saw this match where the women outshot the men; combine the categories!!!" I roll my eyes. Yes it happens. No it doesn't happen often enough to axe the categories, certainly not at elite level.
 


Johnh159

Member
This is an old chestnut... old enough that I've already got data on it to hand!

These are the the percentiles of scores for international archers shooting at world cups, world champs and the like in a recent four year period. As some people seem to often suggest theres not much difference at the top end, this is a useful check to see what the numbers actually look like. For example shooting a 664/720 puts you in the 95th percentile of female recurve scores at this level and as a result makes you a likely international medal contender in the RW category. The same score on the recurve mens side puts you in the 85th percentile, and firmly in the peloton rather than the leading pack. The same applies for those further away from the top. 631 is a 55th percentile score in the RW category, making it just above average at international tournaments. For RM, the same score lands you in the 30th percentile; meaning if its a big tournament with more than 150 archers you may not even make the cut to 104 for matches.

View attachment 7956

People often correctly point out though that there are examples, cases of women outshooting men, in certain finals matches, mixed team events or just at open competitions where there aren't divisions. And this is certainly true. The question is, does it happen enough to make a true open division fair? If it was then the qualifying round should have even scores as well, so looking at the same data in a slightly different way, seeing the distribution of scores should be revealing.

View attachment 7957

So what is obvious from this is that within each bowstyle, there is a big overlap, ie lots of male and female recurve archers are shooting 630s, 640s, 650s. This we know already. But the peaks are centred in different places (the mean RW score is 621, the mean RM is 638), and especially as you move to the extremes in either direction one is significantly higher than the other.

This is why whenever anyone chimes in with "I saw this match where the women outshot the men; combine the categories!!!" I roll my eyes. Yes it happens. No it doesn't happen often enough to axe the categories, certainly not at elite level.
Do you have similar data for indoor comps?
 


Cereleste

Supporter
Supporter
Took about 15 minutes using results from the World Archery website and the histogram function on excel. Indoor world championships 2012-2018, recurve only. Average male recurve 576, average female recurve 566, medians 579 and 569. Same pattern as for outdoors.
I remember being told when I started the sport as a teenager that it was one of the few where women outperformed men - whoever told me that must have been looking at WA1440 scores and not noticed the distances were different. Or perhaps they knew, since it definitely was a good motivator to believe there could be some natural advantage in being female for the sport.
Looking at the last decade of olympics, had they competed together, then based on the elimination round scores the closest a woman would have gotten to the podium is 6th place in 2008 (18th and 15th in 2016 and 2012). Those are pretty dismal numbers and don't do much to inspire young women to pick up the sport.

men-women-compared-indoors.png
 


Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
This has just appeared on a social media page from a female archer shooting at Nimes. I reproduce her post here in full with her permission.

Emma Davis
Nimes Indoor World Series 2020 - post 2

TLDR: Genders were mixed without prior warning in the secondary tournament, only men won prizes. It made me angry.

I've just about cooled down enough to talk about this now, which is why this was brushed over in my other post - that and I wanted to just be pleased with my shooting for a short while without it being overshadowed by gender politics. However, I do still feel let down, angry, frustrated, and generally deflated after what should have been a really positive weekend of shooting.

Every previous Nimes that I can remember, up to and including last year, has had a secondary tournament where men and women compete separately. In archery men and women by default compete separately, aside from in a few very specific scenarios where the rules are well understood by all participants (e.g. the Flights system at Vegas). There was nothing in the entry information or tournament rules that specified the secondary tournament might not have separate genders. The first place prize was a full competition bow, worth £1000+. This prize had previously been the same in both gender categories. As such you would think it was fairly reasonable to assume that men and women would compete separately this year as well.
I had ranked 37th in qualification and was feeling good about the secondary tournament, with only 4 archers ranked above me. On the day everything just seemed to work and I finished on 114/120, the highest female score - as far as I could tell. As I walked off the line after the final arrow I was buzzing. I'd shot well, I'd beaten some archers I have a lot of respect for, and I believed that meant I had won the tournament. I was excited. Although it was only the secondary tournament, Nimes has a certain reputation for being competitive, and I viewed winning as a substantial achievement. This would also be the first time I had legitimately won a worthwhile prize on merit, and I really needed a new set of limbs. I was on edge waiting for the results to be posted for the rest of the day.

When I finally found the results I was instantly confused. I was listed as 4th. How could that be? I might have missed one woman's score on the target boards, but three? I quickly realised the three names above mine weren't actually female archers, they were men. There were still two groups, each with prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but both groups had men in them. Coming 4th in my group meant I won nothing. I couldn't even say that I had "won".

I was about to skulk away, feeling gutted and undermined, but Tom Hall was determined that this couldn't be right, there must have been a mistake. We raised the issue but were told that there had been no mistake, this had been decided in advance, it just hadn't been effectively communicated. The message was simple: It's done, there's nothing we can do, we'll make it clearer in the rules next time. I was told that these things just happen, sometimes you go to a competition and are disappointed, it happens to everyone. I felt patronised and frustratingly couldn't argue eloquently through the tears that were threatening. Tom did a pretty reasonable job staying calm and trying to explain, but the message didn't seem to get through.


Okay, I would have loved the bow, that's true, but that's not the main thing that made me angry. They were apologetic that I had misunderstood (but not necessarily that they had advertised poorly) and that I was upset, but there was no sign of understanding what this kind of injustice does to women and women's sport - or that there was any injustice at all. All six prize winners were men and they didn't understand this was a problem, that it might put women off from entering in the future because they feel like there isn't a space for them. The secondary tournament gives those who don't make the top 32 something to compete for, something to aim for, and that was taken away from us, or at least compromised. When I brought up female entries, and surely that they want to encourage them, they didn't seem to care. The competition fills up. That's all that matters. Why should they worry about entries when it always sells out? No matter that women are disproportionately under-represented.

All this has done is add weight to the feeling that women's sport will continue to be undervalued and dismissed until it is understood how damaging decisions like this are. It's hard not to feel sometimes that the women's competition is viewed as lesser, because we are on-average weaker and smaller and score fewer points, but at least we usually have a platform on which to compete with each other, separate to men. Taking that away from us is not going to make women feel welcome in the sport. It certainly felt pretty unpleasant from where I was standing.


If *you* were a female archer, would you enter with this attitude form the organisers? What is going on here? Not on.
 


LionOfNarnia

Supporter
Supporter
Totally wrong & absolutely outrageous!

Have the organisers gone back to 1970 or something?

No, if I was female I'd boycott the thing & do so very loudly & publicly on social media.
 


Emmadragon

Supporter
Supporter
Absolutely wrong, and very unreasonable of them to tell her it's her fault for not knowing something they hadn't publicised. I certainly wouldn't be entering that tournament (even if I were good enough).
 


olis

Supporter
Supporter
This is so obviously wrong it has to be a mistake covered up.
 


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