Should WTA give protected rankings for pregnancy/childbirth?

Should WTA give protected ranking for pregnancy/childbirth?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Depends (on what?)


Results are only viewable after voting.

norcal

Legend
It's being discussed on the Tennis Channel this morning, commentary seems generally in favor.

Should Serena be playing 1st round matches as an unseeded player because of pregnancy?

Edit: Serena is currently ranked #422. When she left with pregnancy she was #1.

From Forbes:

...


  • When a player declares her pregnancy, ranking points should be frozen for up to one year and should determine seeding in WTA tournaments upon her return. At that juncture, ranking points can be gained and subtracted, by tournament, based on new results and those results in the year preceding a declaration of pregnancy. The 12 months of pregnancy and infant care would basically be erased from the computer, as if they never happened.
  • The WTA should also set aside a pool of money for “maternity scholarships,” based on need, to help transition pregnant players. This pool could be created, in part, with a “tax” on top prize money winnings, as agreed to by the women themselves, and would in effect represent a paid maternity leave.
With just those two steps, a woman on tour might find it far more feasible to be both mother and professional tennis player. Instead of punishing the effort, the WTA would be supporting what is already a difficult, physical task — even for a superwoman like Serena Williams.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/filipb...eserves-to-return-as-a-top-seed/#6df04eeda2e7
 

kOaMaster

Hall of Fame
One of the few good ideas, protecting the ranking (or a steadily declining ranking) makes sense but not from they point of "declaring the pregnancy" but from the point they stop playing due to pregnancy. It's pretty easy to calculate it backwards...
 
I would argue that there should be no protected ranking at all before I would argue adding more things to it

I will say this: Getting pregnant is a choice that you know will remove you from the pool. Injuries are not a choice. Why not add going back to school as protected ranking? Or perhaps getting a pilots license you always wanted? Or maybe you want to take a year off to snowboard Patagonia?
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Hê11 No. Protected ranking should be only for match related injuries. That is, the injury was caused during a match and the person had to retire. Said person would have to petition the ATP/WTA for protection if the injury requires surgery and long term rehab. The protection, if any, should only be good for one year. After one year, seeding/ranking protection is gone. Pregnancies are not match related AFAIK. Look at it this way, why should SW receive this benefit if she chose pregnancy and Azarenka[?] does not or Matek-Sands for her knee.

edit - If an injury required long term rehab, I would think any player that injured should just retire. After a full rehab which may take more than 1 year, they may come back.
 

norcal

Legend
Ask a question a different way... Should the ATP give protected rankings for paternity leave?
Is an ATP player unable to play tennis due to the physical limitations caused by pregnancy during his wife/partner's pregnancy?

For those of you voting 'no', do you generally support maternity leave in the workplace? Or do you believe since it's a choice, the woman's job should not be protected when she returns from pregnancy?
 
D

Deleted member 756486

Guest
Injured players should have protected rankings because it's not a choice but pregnancy is a choice so I don’t see why pregnant players should have that protection.
 

EloQuent

Legend
Definitely yes. It's just logical: nobody thinks Serena is #400, so her ranking is wrong. It's better for everyone, fans, opponents, herself, for her to be seeded.

And on a human level: the entire WTA is comprised of women who all face the same dilemma of career or family. It's not good for the sport if you penalize moms. Girls will be less likely to pursue a tennis career if you block them off.
 

norcal

Legend
Injured players should have protected rankings because it's not a choice but pregnancy is a choice so I don’t see why pregnant players should have that protection.
For those of you voting 'no', do you generally support maternity leave in the workplace? Or do you believe since it's a choice, the woman's job should not be protected when she returns from pregnancy?
 
For those of you voting 'no', do you generally support maternity leave in the workplace? Or do you believe since it's a choice, the woman's job should not be protected when she returns from pregnancy?
At least in the United States all self employed, independently contracted, and small business working women are in the same position

You leave/stop doing your job and you don't get paid the same

What exactly makes tennis different in your eyes?
 

norcal

Legend
At least in the United States all self employed, independently contracted, and small business working women are in the same position

You leave/stop doing your job and you don't get paid the same

What exactly makes tennis different in your eyes?
The employer (WTA) wouldn't be paying them a dime. The other players would fund the pregnant player's expenses through a tax - if they collectively decide to do that.

The WTA would just protect the ranking so the player would return on an even playing field.

And the Serena's (very rich players who don't need the pregnancy 'scholarship' money) wouldn't be eligible for the monetary compensation.

Did you guys even read Forbe's proposal?
 
Did you guys even read Forbe's proposal?
Yeah the proposal there is something that is entirely up to the women players to decide if they want to do and has been forever. Clearly they do not think it has any merit at all because they have taken zero action on it.

We were asked what we thought. I equally think it has no merit. I stand with them
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
Is an ATP player unable to play tennis due to the physical limitations caused by pregnancy during his wife/partner's pregnancy?

For those of you voting 'no', do you generally support maternity leave in the workplace? Or do you believe since it's a choice, the woman's job should not be protected when she returns from pregnancy?
I work for a historically progressive company. Maternity/Paternity leave policy is one and the same. Gay couples/domestic partners are also encouraged to take time for their newborn/adopted child. Is the ATP/WTA as progressive?

That all said... If a woman in any kind of a workplace setting chooses to concentrate on her career during a 10 year period while another chooses to take time to have 4 children... all other things being equal, is there a problem if the woman who chose to concentrate on her career advances more quickly? Or is it only a problem if it's a man?
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
No, mainly based on the understanding that getting pregnant is something a woman in normal circumstances can choose.
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
Ask a question a different way... Should the ATP give protected rankings for paternity leave?
If this kind of protected rankings existed with Scandinavian country-like stipulations, and the 4 Federer children would not have been born in twin sets, Federer could have been #1 for almost 9 years. I can see why many would agree around here.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Tennis is not the same as other professions where a team around you would pick up the slack for the period of time until you return to work following giving birth, or a temp/substitute can be hired in the interim with the express written knowledge the job is only temporary. It is an individual competition. Its very difficult to just say the the previous 12 months didn't happen, as they happened for everyone else. Tennis ranking are determined through individual success. If you leave the game to give birth and others are still competing, you should not get to just come back and bump someone down the ranking with reserved points. Plus, there is a good chance you aren't going to come back playing like you previous ranking right away anyway because of everything your body has been through. So you may get a seed and still lose. a protected ranking to get automatically into the draw seems appropriate, but freezing you into your ranking for a year seems very difficult.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
Definitely yes. It's just logical: nobody thinks Serena is #400, so her ranking is wrong. It's better for everyone, fans, opponents, herself, for her to be seeded.
But even with a PR she would not be seeded. I am not opposed to maternity leave or PRs, but players who go nine+ months without playing should not be seeded over players who have earned their ranking.
 

EloQuent

Legend
But even with a PR she would not be seeded. I am not opposed to maternity leave or PRs, but players who go nine+ months without playing should not be seeded over players who have earned their ranking.
She earned it. Just the vagaries of the 12 month system makes it all disappear in the time it takes to have a baby and recover. It's a dumb system.

Not saying she should retain #1 spot, but she deserves a seeding more than whoever is ranked 32 does.
 
PR only provides entry, not seeding. That's the way it should be. Seeding a player #1 with protected ranking affects multiple players negatively (the would-be #2 seed, #4 seed... would-be last seed), as opposed to only one when PR is used for entry only.
 

letstakeourshirtsoff

Professional
She earned it. Just the vagaries of the 12 month system makes it all disappear in the time it takes to have a baby and recover. It's a dumb system.

Not saying she should retain #1 spot, but she deserves a seeding more than whoever is ranked 32 does.
that might be true for Serena, but aren't we discussing PR's as a general approach?
how many have won a grand slam after becoming a mother?
 

Backspin1780

Semi-Pro
Should stay the same.

Seeding is seeding, that's all. You still have to win the matches.
I would argue that there should be no protected ranking at all before I would argue adding more things to it

I will say this: Getting pregnant is a choice that you know will remove you from the pool. Injuries are not a choice. Why not add going back to school as protected ranking? Or perhaps getting a pilots license you always wanted? Or maybe you want to take a year off to snowboard Patagonia?
I support protected rankings for pregnancy. Those against it really have no clue.
Yes, but not for more than a couple of months.
I support it too.
But father and mother should share the home time after birth. So at least 4 months for the dad to stay home, which will give 8 months protected ranking.
Definitely yes. It's just logical: nobody thinks Serena is #400, so her ranking is wrong. It's better for everyone, fans, opponents, herself, for her to be seeded.

And on a human level: the entire WTA is comprised of women who all face the same dilemma of career or family. It's not good for the sport if you penalize moms. Girls will be less likely to pursue a tennis career if you block them off.
I work for a historically progressive company. Maternity/Paternity leave policy is one and the same. Gay couples/domestic partners are also encouraged to take time for their newborn/adopted child. Is the ATP/WTA as progressive?

That all said... If a woman in any kind of a workplace setting chooses to concentrate on her career during a 10 year period while another chooses to take time to have 4 children... all other things being equal, is there a problem if the woman who chose to concentrate on her career advances more quickly? Or is it only a problem if it's a man?
Tennis is not the same as other professions where a team around you would pick up the slack for the period of time until you return to work following giving birth, or a temp/substitute can be hired in the interim with the express written knowledge the job is only temporary. It is an individual competition. Its very difficult to just say the the previous 12 months didn't happen, as they happened for everyone else. Tennis ranking are determined through individual success. If you leave the game to give birth and others are still competing, you should not get to just come back and bump someone down the ranking with reserved points. Plus, there is a good chance you aren't going to come back playing like you previous ranking right away anyway because of everything your body has been through. So you may get a seed and still lose. a protected ranking to get automatically into the draw seems appropriate, but freezing you into your ranking for a year seems very difficult.
All interesting perspectives
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
She earned it. Just the vagaries of the 12 month system makes it all disappear in the time it takes to have a baby and recover. It's a dumb system.

Not saying she should retain #1 spot, but she deserves a seeding more than whoever is ranked 32 does.
I disagree..the rankings are not "vagaries", they are the rules. You're saying whoever is ranked no. 32 should not get a seed at a major because of Serena's past accomplishments? That makes no sense to me. Active players deserve their rankings, injured (or pregnant) players deserve a PR.
 

ohiostate124

Professional
Absolutely not. You shouldn’t get to benefit over other players because you made the voluntary decision to have a baby knowing full well that you wouldn’t be able to defend your points.
 
C

Chadillac

Guest
The world doesnt stop because your having a baby, make your choice, doing both is extremely selfish
 

ibbi

G.O.A.T.
Let's hear from Mandy Minella: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/43477213

"The rule should stay as it is," said former world number 66 Minella.

Minella returned to professional tennis in February, 99 days after giving birth to daughter Emma having played at Wimbledon while four and a half months pregnant.

"I don't think we would be talking about this if it wasn't Serena," said the 32-year-old. "There are many players who have been out because of pregnancy and there will be many more".
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I support protected rankings for pregnancy. Those against it really have no clue.
I think the rule might be difficult to write, but I won't go into details on why as that does not appear to be appropriate for discussion on this board. But suffice it to say, I think it's far from straightforward.
 
D

Deleted member 735320

Guest
I support protected rankings for pregnancy. Those against it really have no clue.
No as the father of three I know that pregnancy takes a lot out of a woman. Therefore, she is NOT the same woman who was number one.

I personally don' think there should be protected rankings. Play the damn tournaments and earn your way back. Agassi did it. It can be done. Injuries, drugs, deaths in the family, pregnancy? Who cares? You are a competitor not a charity case.
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
Protected rankings isn't just about the protected one it's also there so higher ranked players don't end up with 1st or 2nd round nightmare Even an early win can takes it toll later
 

ScottleeSV

Hall of Fame
Hopefully Williams' lacklustre showings in Indian Wells and Miami will have put this debate to bed. Can't have top seeds in that kind of form (or lack of).
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
Protected rankings isn't just about the protected one it's also there so higher ranked players don't end up with 1st or 2nd round nightmare Even an early win can takes it toll later
But look at it on the other end... What about a situation where a player who is on the bubble of making the main draw who now has to go through the qualifying rounds because a player ranked higher, who hasn't played tennis in months has their ranking protected? Should the 30th, 40th, 50th ranked players have their ranking protected? Serena is a bit of an anomaly.

This isn't about being sexist or being against child bearing. The people who are most impacted with protected rankings are other women. Once again... professional tennis is a horrible, horrible example to discuss gender pay gap, leave benefits, etc.

Hopefully Williams' lacklustre showings in Indian Wells and Miami will have put this debate to bed. Can't have top seeds in that kind of form (or lack of).
Sort of demonstrates the current system while not perfect... works.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Seles got a one-off protected ranking for being stabbed, so giving such for pregnancy is not a hard ask.

They are women, after all, and pregnancy should not mean being unnecessarily disadvantaged.

And, as mentioned above, it is better for lesser players that other players are properly ranked.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
Seles got a one-off protected ranking for being stabbed, so giving such for pregnancy is not a hard ask.

They are women, after all, and pregnancy should not mean being unnecessarily disadvantaged.

And, as mentioned above, it is better for lesser players that other players are properly ranked.
I wonder though... if this were to be put to vote on the WTA. With the WTA players voting. What would the preference be? Protected or not?
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Women can be self-interested, but this is a situation where the fact that there is no vote is a good thing.

I wonder though... if this were to be put to vote on the WTA. With the WTA players voting. What would the preference be? Protected or not?
 
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eelhc

Hall of Fame
Women can be self-interested, but this is a situation where the fact that there is no vote is a good thing.
The people impacted by this the most should not have a say but you don't support the WTA decision either? Keep in mind the current WTA president is a woman.

Of course if protected rankings are done to make sure that the top players gain entry into tournaments and boost ratings, I can understand that decision making process. After all... it's entertainment. butts in seats, eyeballs on screens.
 
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