3 Stories: Tennis Bias, Female Concussion Research, All-Star Game Rules

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Victoria Azarenka. (Alastair Grant/AP)
Victoria Azarenka. (Alastair Grant/AP)

With a six-month-old baby to care for at home, tennis star Victoria Azarenka was frustrated with Wimbledon officials for making her wait hours to learn her match time.

That's where this week's edition of "3 Stories You Should Know" begins. Mike Pesca, host of the daily Slate podcast The Gist, and WBUR's Shira Springer joined Bill Littlefield.

1. Equality Of Visibility

Wimbledon may provide equal prize money to men and women, but when it comes to equal visibility, the tournament falls short. An analysis of the last two years at Wimbledon showed that there is a bias in favor of men playing on the Centre and No. 1 courts. Shira Springer thinks this will be an ongoing issue.

This is going to be the next battleground, I think, in women’s sports. So we’ve seen the fight over pay equity. I think we’re going to see a fight — or at least more awareness — of the lack of equity when it comes to when they play, where they play, the number of primetime TV slots. Women are going to push for more equality in this arena.

2. Research Lacking On Female Athlete Concussions

Female athletes experience concussions at a greater rate than their male counterparts playing the same sports. Concussion symptoms for women can be different than those for men. Still, leading concussion experts rarely focus their research on gender differences. Bill Littlefield calls for more research.

Women are, by all accounts, first of all, more prone to suffer concussions when they play the same sports as men. And, also, they recover more slowly. The damage is often worse, and, more often, their careers are ended by these injuries. I really hope that those involved with the Concussion In Sport Group read this article and that other people read it and that it brings about a change that is not only necessary but long overdue.

3. Playing For Home-Field Advantage

Since 2003, the MLB All-Star Game has determined home-field advantage during the World Series. But no longer. Henceforth, the pennant-winning team with the better record will earn home-field advantage. Mike Pesca uses the principal-agent theory to explain why the previous setup didn't work.

Here you have the managers — they're the agents of Major League Baseball's wishes, which is to have a competitive All-Star Game. But the managers have an entirely different set of incentives. What they want to do is get everyone in the game. They just want to manage things in the least volatile way possible. So we have an economic or political science theory explaining why the All-Star Game never really got as contentious as Bud Selig would have wanted it to be.

More Stories You Should Know

This segment aired on July 8, 2017.


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