NBC Olympics coverage: some sports "women's" and some sports "ladies'"
February 20, 2018 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Not a big sports fan here, this is a genuine question. Is there a reason that NBC describes some women's events as "Women's" (e.g. Women's Curling) and some as "Ladies'" (e.g. Ladies' Figure Skating)? The Olympics website just uses "Women's."
posted by HaveYouTriedRebooting to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: As a matter of fact, the Washington Post just ran a piece on this on the weekend ...

posted by mccxxiii at 12:04 PM on February 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: That's awesome, thank you!
posted by HaveYouTriedRebooting at 12:07 PM on February 20, 2018

Possibly of further interest -- in the 1990s in the US, college sports PR departments spent most of the decade sending polite letters of rebuke to major newspapers who talked about "Ladies' Basketball" or "Lady Warriors" -- it was "Women's Basketball" and just "Warriors" (or whatever the mascot was). They were really the first college teams who'd grown up fully under Title IX, and women's sports programs were dramatically expanding and improving. It's pretty unusual since then in the US to see "ladies" for women's sports very often -- with the major exception of figure skating, and the occasional old-fashioned tournament or whatever. Even sportswriters of the older generation are pretty alert to this and it is the routine usage for college and pro women's sports these days; if you see a sportswriter talking about "ladies' basketball," he's a hack, and he has a lazy editor to boot.

(High school sports are conventionally Boys and Girls basketball or whatever in US sports coverage -- sometimes sports sections won't even bother specifying college, their slugs will say (let's say) NBA, WNBA, men's basketball, women's basketball, boys' basketball, girls' basketball, and that's considered enough info for you to identify college and high school sports coverage.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:40 PM on February 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

There are a number of college women's basketball teams that still have "Ladies" as part of their name. Most prominently, the Lady Vols of Tennessee (8 time national champions).
posted by Carol Anne at 2:22 PM on February 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yes, there are a few who are still the Lady Whatevers, most notably the Lady Vols. But you don't hear about the Lady Crimson or the Lady Irish or the Lady Huskies or the Lady Cowboys (true past example) or the Lady Illini. It went almost completely out of fashion in the 90s, except for a few outliers (mostly in the South).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:46 PM on February 20, 2018

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