Make tennis like boxing: divided by weight class?

An evergreen subject for our media seems to be “female” athletes earning less than athletes who identify as “male”. “Roger Federer, $731,000; Serena Williams, $495,000: The Pay Gap in Tennis” is a recent example from the New York Times.

I’m wondering if games would be more interesting if there were no restrictions on gender identification. Certainly right now the singles game is typically pretty predictable and often the winner is simply the taller player. Could an amazing player 5’8″ tall reasonably hope to beat Novak Djokovic at 6’2″?

Why not deal squarely with the issue that huge strong players, regardless of gender ID, can overpower physically smaller players? We can group sub-tournaments by weight and/or serve speed rather than by gender ID. If we are concerned about pay equity then just have the prize money be the same in each group.

[Separately, what is there to stop a 6’4″-tall “male” player right now from putting on a skirt, saying “I identify as a woman”, and entering a woman’s tournament? Gael Monfils, for example, probably wouldn’t have too much trouble overpowering even a top player currently identifying as “Female”.]

7 thoughts on “Make tennis like boxing: divided by weight class?

  1. David Ferrer (world #3 in 2013, still top ten) is 5’9″.

    Women’s finals tennis is played to best of 3 sets instead of best of 5 sets, so there’s no clear “less pay for same work” argument, as there is with women’s soccer in the US. It’s surprising that the NYTimes article doesn’t mention that.

  2. Chris: Thanks for the David Ferrer info. Couldn’t the division by size/power still be helpful in terms of highlighting the players with the best technique?

  3. Chris: As suggested in my original posting maybe there is a way to adjust by power as well, e.g., average speed of the serve.

    Can women beat men? The New York Times assures us that they deserve to be paid the same so I have to believe that they are at least equally competent at the job in question!

  4. Pretty sure the body composition would still rule out co-ed sports. Marriage however should be done by weight class. Fat people would marry fat people. Skinny people would marry skinny people. With so many marriages having something in common for a change, it would just put a lot of lawyers out of business.

  5. Weight divisions won’t work, a man and woman of the same weight the man is almost always stronger and faster, they have different body composition. Women have a higher fat vs muscle ratio compared to men.

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