Women competing against men

In most of the popular sports played around the world, not surprisingly generally men perform better than women. It is basic physiology that men are on average taller, stronger and faster, resulting in superior sporting performance. However, in sports that are predominantly skill based, it is possible for women to compete favorably with the men.

At the summer Olympic Games there are two sports where men and women compete directly against each other, in equestrian and in one of the sailing events. In both of these sports, performance is not limited by physical abilities, skill is the predominant attribute for success.

There are many other sports in which skill is predominantly the main factor of success, which you can realistically see women being competitive with the men. Sports such as darts, archery, shooting, auto-racing and tenpin bowling should have women competing at the top of the sport against the men, however it is not always the case.

There are other factors other than physiology and skill which determine the success of women on the sporting field. The lack of opportunity and encouragement of women to play sport in many parts of the world results in less women playing sport, resulting in a smaller talent pool and therefore less chance of women being successful.

Over the years, several women have taken on the men at their own game, with varying success. Danica Patrick in auto racing and Kelly Kulick on the Professional Bowlers Association tour have shown that women can compete and win on an individual basis. In tennis, there were the well-known matches of Bobby Riggs against Margaret Court and Billie Jean King. In golf, several high profile female players have played the occasional tournament against the men, and have been mostly unsuccessful. In the physical sport of ice hockey, a few women have join the men in professional leagues. Surprisingly, in the few high profile boxing matches between men and women, they have not ended well for the men.

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