When you think of sexism in sports, the first thing that comes to your head is pay difference, which is understandable. However, one must understand that the problem runs way too deep. It’s not just the numbers on the cheque which are different, it’s also the rules.

Here are some of the sexist rules in women’s sports, that are so absurd, they are honestly an embarrassment for the organisers.

1. The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was played on artificial turf instead of grass despite written rejection by the players. 

The event was held in Canada. A lot of arguments were given for and against the move but the truth is that if FIFA decided that the competition will be held on grass, it would have been. Also, what if a similar incident happened in men’s football and Messi and Salah said they won’t play unless the issue is resolved because it impacts their performances. Would FIFA still go ahead with the World Cup? I doubt.

Time Magazine

2. Women’s Test Cricket goes on for 4 days instead of 5, and we could not find one compelling reason as to why.

Granted, there are more overs-per-day in women’s Test Cricket, but that still doesn’t justify one less day of play.


3. Women’s Test Cricket does not have the facility of DRS available for the players. Why, you ask? Let me know when you have the answer.

The Hindu

4. Additionally, in women’s Test Cricket, the ball has to weigh 142 grams, minimum. In men’s Test Cricket, this weight is 156 grams. 

That 14-gram-difference is the weight of patriarchy in this context.


5. In Ice Hockey, women have to wear, a cage-like full-face mask. Men, on the other hand, don’t have any such obligation. Not at the pro-level, anyway.

The reasoning behind this is that women’s Ice Hockey “is still an amateur sport even at Olympics level”. Well, whose fault is that? 

AP News

6. The circumference of the Basketball used in women’s tournaments is one inch less than it is in men’s competitions.

Los Angeles Times

7. In 2011, it was made mandatory for women in Badminton to wear skirts, to increase the “attractive presentation” of the game.

The rule was struck down after widespread criticism, but imagine, the audacity. This is what the then BWF president had to say about the rule:

We just want them to look feminine and have a nice presentation so women will be more popular.
The New York Times

8. A women Tennis player, Alize Cornet, was handed a code violation for…wait for it…adjusting her shirt because she realised she was wearing it inside out.

The Guardian

Meanwhile, here is the men’s world number 1 for you.


9. Women’s Boxing has 12 rounds of 2 minutes each, while it’s 15 rounds of 3 minutes each for men.

The reason given is that women have weaker bones and are more concussion prone than men. The authorities say they have based these rules on “studies”, which they could not present when asked for, by the players. These players have been demanding for that 1-minute increase in play-time, but it has been a no so far.

The Guardian

10. Lastly, women can’t participate in pro-level Sumo Wrestling because they are considered to be “impure” for getting periods.