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IeSF Wants International Game Tournaments Segregated By Sex [Updated] 221

Posted by timothy
from the sort-of-noachian dept.
RockDoctor (15477) writes The Guardian is reporting that a Finnish heat of an international gaming competition is being segregated into male and female branches in accordance to international rules. The International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) want "eSports" to be recognised as equivalent to physical sports. And that, it seems, requires that competitors be segregated on grounds of sex. Which may be appropriate for pole vaulters, but not necessarily appropriate for ePole vaulters. This leaves the organisers of national heats of eSports in a rather invidious position of having (in this case) a tournament only open to "Finnish male players." Update: 07/03 14:38 GMT by T : As several readers point out in the comments, this policy has been abruptly reversed.
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IeSF Wants International Game Tournaments Segregated By Sex [Updated]

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  • simple fix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sunking2 (521698) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:14AM (#47375925)
    Stop pretending video gaming is a real sport.
    • by khallow (566160)
      What is a "real sport" anyway?
      • Re:simple fix (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lgw (121541) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:30AM (#47376093) Journal

        Whatever old people want it to be.

        Seriously, just abandon the word "sport". It's not helping in any way. Trying to avoid "gaming" is understandable, as it means "illegal gambling" to many people, and in many laws, but there's got to be a better word than "sport".

        "eSports" is trying to come down on the wrong side of the great jock-geek divide. Why do that?

      • by Tridus (79566) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:31AM (#47376097) Homepage

        "real sport": Competitions I like watching on TV.
        "fake sport": Competitions other people like watching on TV.

      • by sribe (304414)

        What is a "real sport" anyway?

        Well, let's see... There has to be some kind of physical skills involved. Check. There has to be some kind of scoring system in place by which one can observe the participants and objectively declare a winner. Check.

        Or, in other words: Bowling is a sport. Figure skating is not. Video games are.

        • What is a "real sport" anyway?

          It is essentially a freak-show. The freaks of nature win the competition.

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          How about rock-paper-scissors?
          [X] physical skills involved
          [X] some kind of scoring system
          [X] objectively declare winner
          Ticks all your boxes!

          • by sribe (304414)

            How about rock-paper-scissors?

            Yes, it's a sport. A stupid, boring, incredibly lame sport, but...

            • by mwvdlee (775178)

              What about Bingo?

              Bingo involves the physical act of moving your hand to tick the scorecard, and there's a clear, objective winner.

              • by sribe (304414)

                Bingo involves the physical act of moving your hand to tick the scorecard, and there's a clear, objective winner.

                I think it's arguable, because that act is not a skill, and there's not a whole lot of variation in how well people do it. I think winning involves the purely mental act of being first to notice that the just-drawn ball completes your bingo, and that the placement of the marker comes after, just to keep track before the next round starts.

                • by GNious (953874)

                  Bingo involves the physical act of moving your hand to tick the scorecard, and there's a clear, objective winner.

                  I think it's arguable, because that act is not a skill...

                  Go to bingo-night, see the ones running 10+ bingo cards, and still manages to tick off all the numbers being called :)

                  • by sribe (304414)

                    Go to bingo-night, see the ones running 10+ bingo cards, and still manages to tick off all the numbers being called :)

                    Yes, but they don't tick them off before calling bingo, because if they did, they wouldn't win ;-)

          • How about rock-paper-scissors?
            [X] physical skills involved
            [X] some kind of scoring system
            [X] objectively declare winner
            Ticks all your boxes!

            And guess what? It's [usarps.com] a [worldrps.com] sport! [foxnews.com]

          • Well rock-paper-scissors is physical in the sense that you can't play it without atoms/molecules/energy/etc (i.e. physics). But the game itself is basically random (if you do it right).

            You don't need any physical skills beyond having a semi-functioning physical body. Having a body and being able to move your arms and hands is physical I guess. Would you really call this a skill? Are the rock-paper-scissor champions more skilled compared to the mediocre in any regard other than luck?

            rock paper scissors i

        • by sir-gold (949031)

          If figure skating isn't a sport solely because it's not objective, then there are a lot of Olympic sports that aren't actually sports either (high-dive, gymnastics,etc) as well as most of the X-games (freestyle BMX, half-pipe, etc)

          By your definition, any sport that is subjectively rated by technique, instead of objectively rated by pre-defined goals, isn't a sport.

          • by sribe (304414)

            If figure skating isn't a sport solely because it's not objective, then there are a lot of Olympic sports that aren't actually sports either (high-dive, gymnastics,etc) as well as most of the X-games (freestyle BMX, half-pipe, etc)

            I was being simplistic in that sarcastic comment. The thing is, that figure skating (along with all the other sports you mention) does absolutely have objective criteria for much of the scoring. But in figure skating, far, far, more than any other sport, the judges have a long history of simply ignoring the objective criteria when they so desire.

        • Figure skating just hasn't developed far enough yet—throw in a few mocap suits and compare the recorded data to an ideal performance. Root mean standard deviation == your score. Simple!
      • by sunking2 (521698)
        Apparently something where men and women perform differently.
    • by Chas (5144)

      Pretty much.

      Now I don't deny that playing many of these games at the top levels involves lots of skill and practice.
      But it's more akin to playing an instrument than participating a sport.

      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        But it's more akin to playing an instrument than participating a sport.

        If I had a spare pair of ear defenders (or two), I'd head up the road to the local highland games (I think it's Braemar this weekend, but I'm not sure) and ask the competitors in the bagpipes competition if they're more or less sportsmen than the caber-tossers.

        Can I use your name when I ask?

    • True. That said, sports shouldn't be segregated by sex in any case.

      Why is it better for women to be able to say they're the best women player then being able to say they're the 200th best player in either sex?

      Its the same thing.

      Let them compete against the men.

      They're 21st century women. They want to go into the fire... to compete... do it and be done.

      Now if you're concerned about women getting hurt... that's sports. Men get hurt all the time. They get concussions. They tear ligaments. They break bones.

      Migh

    • Is chess or poker a sport? I would classify professional video-gamers in the same category as professional chess players or professional poker players...

  • Sex? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:18AM (#47375955) Homepage

    requires that competitors be segregated on grounds of sex

    Right, those that have sex with a partner and those that don't.

    • Right, those that have sex with a partner and those that don't.

      Makes it easy - rent one giant auditorium and one meeting room.

  • by Hentai (165906) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:19AM (#47375969) Homepage Journal

    "I don't know why it's important for physical sports to have gender segregation, but they do it and people recognize them as legitimate! If we segregate by gender, maybe that's what will make people recognize us as legitimate!"

    Just like in programming, this line of thinking clearly translates down to "I have no idea what I'm doing, and I have no idea what the consequences of these choices are, but I'm just going to bang at things until something works or everything breaks."

    (Spoiler alert: usually, everything breaks.)

    • by khallow (566160)

      (Spoiler alert: usually, everything breaks.)

      Damn. I was going to see that movie! :(

    • NASCAR doesn't have gender segregation, Men and Women can compete in NASCAR. Granted there are not a lot of women NASCAR drivers. But they are a few and they can compete with the men.

      I would say unless there is a statistical evidence that gender will give someone an advantage or disadvantage in terms of performance, I say let anyone play.

  • Poker tournaments aren't gender-segregated, for example, and they are probably one of the more successful non-athletic sports. The main chess competitions are also open to people of any gender.

    There are sometimes gender-specific events, but they are promotional/recruiting things rather than the main event. For example there's a Women's World Chess Championship, but some of the best chess-playing women choose not to enter it, and enter the main (gender-integrated) tournaments instead.

    • A similar situation exists in the card game bridge. There are three major classes of events: open (men and women), women's (only), and senior (old men and old women). There are some mixed events as well (each partnership must have one man and one woman). Teams including a woman win open events from time to time, including at the highest levels. However, by sheer numbers, most of the top players are male -- notwithstanding the era in which Dorothy Hayden Truscott may have been the best player of either s
    • Poker tournaments aren't gender-segregated, for example, and they are probably one of the more successful non-athletic sports. The main chess competitions are also open to people of any gender.

      I don't think there is any sport that is specifically male-only. Sometimes women do well in baseball, for example [wikipedia.org]

      • by Trepidity (597)

        I believe professional baseball in the U.S. is officially male-only, or at least it used to be. Jackie Mitchell [wikipedia.org] was briefly pitcher for a minor-league AA team in 1931, but the commissioner expelled her from the league after it came to his attention.

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          That was in 1931. I think that things have changed in the last 83 years. It wasn't so long ago (1947) that Jackie Robinson became the first black MLB player. A good example is Manon Rheaume [wikipedia.org] who actually got an NHL contract. Although she only played in 2 exhibition games, and she only played 1 period of her first game.
  • by Cardoor (3488091) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:19AM (#47375979)
    im old now and happily married.. but if i was still a teenager, i would really appreciate anything that could be done to encourage more girls (preferably hot ones) to pick up gaming.. (so they could come over to my house and play). these regulations are cock-blocking our dorky-teen brethren!!
    • by GNious (953874)

      im old now and happily married..

      So trick to being happily married is to be old ... makes sense .. :)

  • No Longer News (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They already changed their stance.

    http://ie-sf.com/bbs/board.php?bo_table=iesf_notice&wr_id=105

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      They changed their stance slightly, they're still going for gender-segregated tournaments. They'll have "mixed" and "female-only" tournaments. That isn't an improvement.

  • interesting times... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:25AM (#47376033) Homepage

    i see this debate in shooting sports going the other way.

    there really aren't any good reasons why a female should be a worse marksman or shooting competitor than a male. in fact, small efficient muscles and better color eyesight make females more ideal than males.

    so a lot of people think that there should be no gender seperation in shooting sport competitions, and I tend to agree. but for some reason, the top females can never quite break into the top levels with the top males. just last year, Jessie Duff became the first female USPSA grand master-level shooter. on paper, there's no reason why they can't be as competitive as the guys, but in reality it just hasn't happened. so we end up with segregated competitions (in most cases. there ARE plenty of gender-immeterial competitions out there) to keep it "fair".

    disclaimer: i will never be able to compete against the competitive girls.

    • by hweimer (709734) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:44AM (#47376255) Homepage

      so a lot of people think that there should be no gender seperation in shooting sport competitions, and I tend to agree. but for some reason, the top females can never quite break into the top levels with the top males.

      This is simply not true. Margeret Murdock [wikipedia.org] won a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics (she lost the battle for gold under very controversial circumstances) and set four individual world records. In the eighties, most shooting sports became gender-segregated, the only exceptions being skeet and trap, which became gender-segregated right after a woman (Zhang Shan [wikipedia.org]) had won the gold medal in the skeet competition in 1992. There are other examples as well.

      So, if today's women are no longer competitive with men, then that's certainly a consequence of gender segregation and not an argument for it.

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        +1 insightful. Wish I hadn't already commented.

      • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @10:11AM (#47376497) Homepage

        ahh, the "certain amazonian society" argument whereby someone seeks to argue against the prevalent facts by citing some small exceptions.

        of course there will be a few exceptionally talented black swans that show up from time to time. these are exceptions to the rule.

        for the year-after-year slog of shooters making their way to various competitions up to the top... WPW's, Camp Perry, USPSA nationals, IPSC championships, and all the hundreds of others, including the olympics, the males statistically dominate the top.

        as far as I know, none of the scores are scaled differently for male vs female. the courses-of-fire are generally the same. the scores can be compared apples-to-apples, but we just hand out more trophies. females don't do worse BECAUSE of the separation, that is ridiculous.

        • by shaitand (626655)
          "of course there will be a few exceptionally talented black swans that show up from time to time. these are exceptions to the rule."

          AKA Champions. If you aren't an exceptionally talented black swan you aren't a champion and shouldn't be called one. First, if you can't win the game on a level playing field with all genders and weight classes, you aren't really a champion. Second, assuming girls could never do this is highly sexist. Third, if you genuinely believe girls can't do this, then propping them up ar
    • by RockDoctor (15477)
      Hmmm, interesting.

      If I hadn't come across ("fnarr, fnarr") pole vaulting as a comparison, then I might have lit upon shooting ("fnarr, fnarr"), if only because a friend's daughter was a serious competitor for a place on the national biathlon team on that winter sports thingy recently (the thing with the logo of rings ; sorry, not a very sporty person myself). (That's cross-country skiing and target shooting, for those that don't know or have forgotten already.)

      But yeah - good example with no obvious reaso

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Another random piece of data that floats in my mental files is that many of the biggest salmon hooked in Scottish rivers have been caught by women

        ("fnarr, fnarr")

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@ l y n x.bc.ca> on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:26AM (#47376041) Journal
    Checking the source... [peliliiga.fi]

    Update:
    The gender restriction rule has been removed, we thank everyone who took part in this process.

    I'm betting they received enough bad press and comments about it to realize that this particular approach was not the appropriate avenue to take for being "recognized",. as they say.... as equivalent to sports.

    • by Tridus (79566)

      They did, and they also got a negative response from Blizzard (who own the relevant game). Faced with that, they wised up.

      I think you can attribute this one to stupidity more than anything else.

  • There are sports that are a lot more physical than gaming (although 1 is also a lot more than 0) where men and women compete against each other. Online, in arcades, in split-screen games on couches - that is, in the "real world" of gaming, men and women compete against each other. I'm pretty sure in Chess, which is roughly as physical as gaming, again men and women compete against each other.

    This is silly.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:28AM (#47376071) Homepage

    This has already been changed: http://www.polygon.com/2014/7/... [polygon.com]

    There was a huge backlash on social media, which drew Blizzard's attention. Blizzard kindly made it clear that they didn't want their game being used in a male-only tournament, and the problem was fixed.

    Slashdot is pretty far behind on this one.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      They still have gender-specific tournaments. They've changed their policy, but they haven't fixed it.

  • ...Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:28AM (#47376077)

    I know plenty of competitive game players, mostly from the competitive Team Fortress 2 scene. Now, I can understand why real sports are segregated by sex - there are irreconcilable physical differences between men and women in terms of athletic performance in some sports, thus it's simply not fair to have men competing against women. However, I don't get how this would apply to video games, where there is effectively no difference between the sexes. I have, in fact, seen female comp players who completely destroy me (largely because I don't play comp due to my favorite and only class being Engineer).

    Also, there were at least two or three female runners at this year's Summer Games Done Quick. One of them did a very skilled race of Octodad against a male player, and was even ahead at one point - until the very end when she failed to get a very RNG-centric glitch to occur (the male player got it on the first try, but they both admitted that getting that glitch to occur is purely random). Another did a 7.5 hour run of Final Fantasy VI and actually out-lasted the male player she was co-opping with (from what I remember, he switched out about 5 or 6 hours in).

    • by Shados (741919)

      Not saying I agree with separating the sex, but I can see why you would want to.

      When talking about competition like this, you're talking about the very tip top of players, at which point, differences that would be minute to insignificant day to day (practice and training trump any biological difference, even when playing football. A girl who plays football 50x more than a guy will kick his ass at it pretty much no matter what) start showing up.

      At the 0.1%, maybe men can click faster, maybe women can keep tr

    • by RyoShin (610051)

      I don't think she's competitive, but one of the regulars on the TF2 server I usually go to is female and usually plays Medic; this doesn't sound too odd for TF2, until you go against her and find out that she is absolutely lethal with the Ubersaw (melee weapon, for non-TF2 players). If she gets the jump on someone (usually when her heal target loses uber and about to die, she'll split off and dive into the enemy team) she can easily take out two or three people with just that, and I've seen her clear half t

  • by rnbc (174939)

    Hippism is not segregated, as far as I know, and is an olympic sport...

    • by rnbc (174939)

      PS: Sorry, it's called "Equestrianism" in english, sorry :P

      None of the equestrian disciplines are segregated by sex as far as I know...

      • The unfortunate thing is at the college level equestrian teams are now considered a female sport in the USA so that their funding can balance out male sports due to Title 9 requiring equal spending. I have no idea how this will reflect in the sport in the long run but it certainly prevented me from competing in college where as a male I would have to pay for all of my own lessons and competitions. I doubt there will be much change in the upper levels as one of the biggest factors is still quality of horse (
  • ...so that now it's only men that are excluded from some events. Victory!

    Hooray for "equality"....

  • First, using the word "segregated" is a bit too strong in this case. Yes, it still means separation, but for many, it carries a different history. That being said, I don't agree with their policy on separation by gender. I think it's kind of pointless in an eSports format, and I'm glad someone is finally drawing attention to it. However, the vitriol and excessive anger is highly inappropriate, and it makes me disappointed in people like Wil Wheaton and others who have been up in arms about a policy that was
  • Sorry for repost, but I want to see potential feedback and was AC.

    Basically, normal sports are segregated so that there can be top athletes who are non-male.

    This allows them to inspire young women to be good in sports.

    Women are allowed to compete in maie competetitions, they just don't stand a chance in almost all sports.

    I hardly ever watch E-sports, or normal sports.
    But if women are grossly underrepresented the same could be true there?

    I dunno.

  • by shaitand (626655)
    How is it any less sexist if they retain "all-women" competitions?
  • Just select a male/female avatar.

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