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The Genesis Christian College’s Sports Committee wants to hold the first-ever GCC Beach Volleyball tournament now that the school has 2 Beach Volleyball courts. However, there are some major issues with different areas of the sport, including the uniforms, sexploitation of women, and the media coverage of women’s sports. Figueroa’s framework can be used to identify and break down these issues so that some recommendations and strategies can be made to help rectify these issues.

Figueroa’s Framework is a tool developed by Peter Figueroa, it is used to investigate issues relating to access, equity, and equality in Sport. There are 5 levels of the framework: individual, interpersonal, institutional, structural, and cultural. All five levels connect with each other and they all influence the shaping of the overall effect. They show the different functions that strengthen, make, remove, and eliminate barriers and imbalances within sports and physical activity. The cultural level of Figueroa’s framework is concerned with assumptions, beliefs, and values about issues of race, gender, and socio-economic status and how norms and values affect the recognition and treatment of diversity. These norms sometimes unknowingly restrict or influence our perceptions and actions about involvement in exercise, sports, and physical activity. One of the main assumptions that restrict involvement in sports is the ideal of femininity and masculinity. The structural level of Figueroa’s framework examines how social status affects access and equity through issues such as rewards and resources distribution and power, relationships, race, gender, and disability. The main institutions that influence the distribution of sporting resources and rewards include the Government and the media. The institutional level refers to the way that society and its institutions, such as schools and sports clubs. When new situations arise institutions can be very slow to respond to change. One example is the time taken for schools to adapt to the increasingly large proportions of students who stay on beyond the minimum leaving age. At an institutional level, schools are slowly starting to meet the needs of students in years 11 and 12 who do not want to complete courses that provide a means of entering university. The interpersonal level looks at how factors such as how we relate to our peers, and prejudices and stereotypes can cause us to construct as well as discriminate and exclude particular groups. These factors are formed by our socialization from a young age through the process of learning and social development with our interactions with others at the core of learning to conform to what our culture values as ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’. In sport socialisation occurs in sport and via a sport, meaning if you are introduced to sport from a young age you will learn how to conform to how that sport and others are structured therefore shaping your ideals into the future. The individual level refers to attitudes and beliefs held by the individual about his/ her potential sporting performance. These attitudes and beliefs can contribute to inequitable situations when people are treated on the basis of stereotypes rather than as they are.

Sports media continues to be a male-dominated domain. With 92% of sports coverage centering on male athletics, while only 5% of that is focused on women’s, with the remaining 3% accounted for by gender-neutral sports. Not only is the ratio of women’s sports coverage greatly underrepresented in contrast to male sports, oftentimes, the media attention that female athletes receive, focuses on the sexualization of the female athlete, and their experience of sport, as opposed to her athletic ability. This approach extends negative ideals suggesting the merit of female athletes or value, lies in characteristics such as her appearance or relationships, thus taking away from the attention paid to her athletic ability, contributions to the sport, or achievements. This links back to the institutional level of Figueroa’s framework. As the media is controlled by organizations and TV networks that decide what the public is shown. Some of these networks have said that men’s sport is preferred by the public, however, for multiple reasons, this isn’t true. The only reason that men’s sport is watched more is because it is on more frequently than women’s sport. When a group of 25 year 12 students were surveyed 76% said that they would watch both genders play or would prefer to watch women.

Studies of the impact of structural level changes in sports organizations on the nature of cultures have been an important part of the sociology of sport in recent years, and such studies have come to rely on the concepts of class, commodification, and consumption. Sport 200 years ago existed in a very different form to what it does today. Amateur sports dominated. Notions of sportsmanship and a gracious attitude were highly regarded. There were no corporate sponsorships and sporting clubs generated very little money. So what changed? The arrival of mass media and the rise of mass advertising coincided with large increases in spectator numbers. Tobacco, liquor, sports merchandise, and companies like Dunlop and Speedo became big sponsors.

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The Genesis Christian College’s Sports Committee wants to hold the first-ever GCC Beach Volleyball tournament now that we have 2 Beach Volleyball courts. However, a survey was conducted to view people’s opinions on the uniform requirements for beach volleyball and if there needs to be a change. The Requirements of the 2016 Rio Olympics states:

The TOP (as per Option 1) must fit closely to the body and the design must have deep cutaway armholes on the back, upper chest, and stomach (2-piece), respecting the space required for the manufacturer logo, athlete number, country flag/country code, and the place for the athlete’s name. The BRIEFS (as per Option 1) should be in accordance with the enclosed diagram, be a close fit, and be cut on an upward angle towards the top of the leg.

According to the federation’s beach volleyball rule handbook, the official FIVB beach volleyball women’s uniform “consists of “tops and bikini bottoms AND eventual accessories”, while the official men’s uniform “consists of tank top and shorts AND eventual accessories”. Why is there such a difference in the amount of clothing these athletes wear? Women’s beach volleyball gets a lot of attention, the majority of which is unfortunately spent on what the athletes are wearing and not on their physical talents.

According to the federation’s beach volleyball rule handbook, the official FIVB beach volleyball women’s uniform “consists of “tops and bikini bottoms AND eventual accessories”, while the official men’s uniform “consists of tank top and shorts AND eventual accessories”. Why is there such a difference in the amount of clothing these athletes wear?

Using these requirements GCC grade 12 students were surveyed to show their opinion of the regulations. The results of this survey showed that 88% of the women did not agree with the requirements, some saying that it was demeaning, and not appropriate. According to the federation’s beach volleyball rule handbook, the official FIVB beach volleyball women’s uniform “consists of “tops and bikini bottoms AND eventual accessories”, while the official men’s uniform “consists of tank top and shorts AND eventual accessories”. So the women are required to wear bikinis and cannot wear shorts and a singlet but the men can.

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