Manning Up: Study Says Women Much Less Likely To Dive During World Cup Than Men
It would appear that if anyone needs to "man up" on the soccer field it's, well, men.
A study conducted at Wake Forest University found that women soccer players are less likely than their male counterparts to dive and fake injuries in a deceptive effort to draw fouls on their opponents, kill time or otherwise just catch their breath.
The study reviewed video of 47 matches from the 2003 and 2007 Women's World Cups and compared injury rates with men's matches in regional tournaments. Apparent injuries were divided into two categories. They were considered "definite" if a player was replaced within five minutes or was visibly bleeding. Otherwise, the injuries were considered "questionable."
Results showed that an average of 11.26 apparent injuries happened in men's matches, as opposed to 5.74 in women's matches. Additionally, those deemed "definite" injuries included 13.7 percent of injuries for women, and only 7.2 percent for men.
According to Dr. Daryl Rosenbaum, the lead author of the study: "We can say that men writhe on the ground looking like they're injured more than women, almost twice as often."
That's not to say female players are entirely guilt-free. Case in point: Sunday's World Cup quarterfinal between the U.S. and Brazil. Late in overtime, Brazilian defender Erika dropped to the ground in front of her team's goal — seemingly injured — except for the fact there was no American player in the vicinity.
The crowd was not having any of her ploy to stall, and did not hesitate to voice their displeasure. See video below, keeping in mind that the crowd audio is isolated.
The Wake Forest study also determined that female players from South America "tended to dive somewhat more often than other women," which is not especially surprising considering the level of acrobatic flopping on display in Sunday's match. This time around, however, "artful gamesmanship" did not prevail, as Erika was given a yellow-card for stalling, extending the game and thus paving the way for Team USA's late-game heroics.
Image via Martin Rose/Getty Images
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