A recently introduced basketball rule, which ensured all basketball teams contain at least one female player, has been altered Phil Jin, the new college league coordinator, has made compromises to the recently introduced measure which softens the penalties on all male basketball teams.This news comes following the recent measure introduced which mandated all college basketball teams to include at least one female. This new rule, which went into effect last week, stipulates that the presence of female players is no longer required throughout an entire match. Moreover, the new system awards one bonus point to mixed teams regardless of the outcome of the match, as opposed to the previous system that awarded three points for a mixed team win whereas all male team wins were only awarded one point.Phil Jin commented that the concept of increased female participation was “great,” but added that the old rules, “weren’t the best way to do it. He continued, “There are times when there aren’t five people to play college basketball, let alone two female players for one team, and if she has anything like my fitness then a whole game is unfair on one girl.”Amar Hodzic, the basketball captain at St Edmund Hall, agreed that the new measure is an improvement. He said, “Teams shouldn’t be [excessively] penalized for failing to find female players. There just isn’t enough interest from female students to play basketball in Oxford and teams would be unable to find enough players. This would result in a number of forfeits, no shows, etc. and I don’t think that’s in anyone’s interest.”The rule change, however, remains far from a solution to the absence of female players. Alexander Edwards, the basketball captain at both Mansfield and Merton College, commented, “The so-called new system only works under the premise that every college team has girls that wish to play but are being held back. This is not the case, girls have always been encouraged to play. The real issue is girls will always feel intimidated by the number of boys playing.”Sue Altman, the alumni officer of Oxford’s Basketball Club, further stressed, “At Oxford, female athletes are sort of a niche identity.” To encourage more women to play basketball, then, it is necessary to jump through a plethora of structural hoops.Furthermore, she noted that the university must, “engage in the community by off ring more court space and coaching to youth groups in the area. One of the reasons you don’t have more women (and men) playing hoops is because they haven’t been exposed to it on a regular basis at the younger levels.”The revised rules are, nonetheless, seen as a step in the right direction. Zoe Fannon, the former league coordinator, said that she was fully supportive of the measures. She said, “Phil Jin thinks this will best achieve increased female representation and I hope that by doing this we’ll get enough women playing at a college level to run a full women’s league in the future in addition to the women’s cuppers we run in Trinity term.”The road towards complete gender parity in college basketball, however, continues to necessitate perpetual experimentation and engagement with the university. “This is a work in progress,” stresses Fannon. “Feedback from the captains based on the games played throughout this term is being used to refine the system.”Altman added that, “This beast needs more hands on deck. The University and the colleges could do much more to encourage greater participation in sport, for students as well as community members.