« Girls ? Ahhhhhh girls ... is it a name galley to organize a tournament for them? They want P1000 but we can not get 3 teams! »
« Another women's tournament? Oh yes ! From now on we will only do women's tournaments. The guys have five P1000 a week, and there are always problems with the guys. And then they leave as soon as they have lost. »
There ... Here ... Here ...
The investigation promises to be complicated I think ... I will only treat the padel, rest assured!
Where are the women ?
Let's start with a comparison of the number of graded. At 1er November 2018, there were 789 ranked (+ 20 assimilated) and 4116 ranked (+ 60 assimilated). We already see a ratio of more than 1 for 5! We do not play in the same court from the start, concerning the competitors.
Today, the FFT adapts to this difference. For example, to validate a P1000 (highest category in France for now), the tournament must have at least 12 registered women teams. For men, this figure is changed to 24 for 2019. For women, 2 land is enough, while 3 is needed for men.
It's a safe bet that if we made the same comparison between the "leisure" practitioners, the ratio would be different. I see a lot of women playing padel in the clubs, without ever having a tournament. Wherever I go, it's the same situation, and speech. When I happen to discuss, with these players, the tournaments, the reactions are often identical.
- Either the lack of time (and sometimes this social pressure that makes it complicated for a woman, to be absent regularly, on weekends, to play a padel tournament ...);
- Either their level (afraid of being ridiculous);
- Either the big difference of level in the tables from one match to another;
- Either they sincerely think they are not made for the competition, and are therefore not interested.
It is not anecdotal to note that the lack of partners is very rarely mentioned, or even if we speak to players who have never made a tournament ... They do not know this problem, to find THE rare pearl.
Women: The club spirit
On the other hand, many women participate in the activities organized in the clubs around their homes.
They are present in mixed doubles, tournaments in America, doubles in the scrum ... where the barbecue / buffet is included in the day / evening. This kind of entertainment is always full. And the registered tournaments that gather the most women, are those, which in general, offer chickens for those who are less well ranked. This allows them to play between 2 and 4 interesting matches, for all.
At the padel, what's good is that you do not always feel like you belong to a club. We will play everywhere, where games are played. Unlike tennis, there is no padel club in all municipalities, and players have taken to moving.
It may be to such ideas that tournament organizers should turn to ... The padel is meant to be friendly, and that is what attracts, works, and pays ... for all. A win-win, in my opinion. Some organizers have already understood this, and the FFT is also considering proposals to meet the "essential" needs of players.
Line Meites is one of the best French padel players. It's the voice of your live on Padel Magazine. But not only, she also hosts the column “The investigations of the Swiss army knife”. Every month, she will come back to a controversy or a theme that is close to her heart.