WSL announces equality in prizemoney

Lemoore, Calif. – Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 – The World Surf League (WSL) today announced that it will award equal prize money to male and female athletes for every WSL-controlled event in the 2019 season and beyond, becoming the first and only US based global sports league, and among the first internationally, to achieve prize money equality. The WSL is proud of its commitment to gender equality, and proud to join other organizations beyond the world of sport reaching this important milestone. 

WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said, “This is a huge step forward in our long-planned strategy to elevate women’s surfing and we are thrilled to make this commitment as we reveal our new 2019 schedule. This is the latest in a series of actions the League has undertaken to showcase our female athletes, from competing on the same quality waves as the men, to better locations, and increased investment and support.”  

Goldschmidt continued, “This change is simply the right thing to do for the WSL and we would like to thank the many advocates who have worked for decades to help advance women’s surfing. We want to be at the forefront of pushing for equality in all walks of life, starting on the waves, and we feel very lucky to have women on our tour who are highly talented, iconic role models, and more than deserve this recognition as they stand alongside our extraordinary male athletes.”

Stephanie Gilmore, six-time World Champion, said, “This is incredible, and I am thrilled. The prize money is fantastic, but the message means even more. From the moment current ownership became involved, the situation for the women surfers has been transformed for the better in every way. We have been so appreciative, but this takes it to another level. I hope this serves as a model for other sports, global organizations and society as a whole. My fellow women athletes and I are honored by the confidence in us, and inspired to reward this decision with ever higher levels of surfing.”

Kelly Slater, holder of 11 World Championships and 55 Championship tour event victories, said, “The women on the tour deserve this change.  I’m so proud that surfing is choosing to lead sports in equality and fairness. The female WSL athletes are equally committed to their craft as the male athletes and should be paid the same.  Surfing has always been a pioneering sport, and this serves as an example of that.”

Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner said, “Today is a huge moment for the sport of surfing. With our 2019 calendar (link below), new season and dates, we are proud to confirm the new prize money equality will be in effect.  This covers all WSL-controlled events: the Championship Tour, the Longboard Tour, the World Junior Championships and includes the Big Wave Tour starting on October 1st, 2018 to March 2019. We will be working with our partners at competitions where we don’t control prize money, such as certain Qualifying Series events, to achieve equality as soon as possible.” 

The WSL continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports leagues globally, continually expanding its reach and fan base. WSL content and live coverage is now digitally available in every market and over 100 linear broadcasters now cover its events, including this week’s groundbreaking competition at the human-made wave at Surf Ranch. Surfing has also been added to the roster for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, introducing the sport to new audiences.

In further support of its commitment to women’s surfing, today the WSL also announces three initiatives which will launch in 2019:

  • A global marketing campaign to highlight the women’s tour as well as increase event viewership and fan engagement.
  • An local community engagement program for girls around the world, featuring instructional clinics with WSL athletes at each women’s Championship Tour stop to inspire the next generation to embrace surfing.
  • A monthly content series about the pioneering women of surfing, celebrating them across WSL channels, starting next week with seven-time World Champion Layne Beachley.

The World Surf League has continued to feature the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves, creating inclusive, exciting, high-quality events enjoyed by millions of fans around the world. A key focus in recent years has been to increase the investment in women’s surfing:

  • Combined men’s and women’s Championship Tour events have increased from four to nine.
  • Women’s Championship Tour prize money has risen by 153% per event.
  • 64 global women’s events scheduled for 2019 - up from 14 just seven years ago.
  • The addition of two historic women’s Big Wave Tour events in Pe’ahi and Mavericks.
  • Appointment of the WSL’s first female CEO in 2017.
  • Development of the co-ed, region vs. region Founders’ Cup, with multiple teams lead by female captains.
  • *WSL investment timeline in women’s surfing to date:
  • 2013: Eight Women’s Championship Tour events. The WSL now invests in 10.
  • Includes world-class venues Jeffreys Bay, Fiji (now Bali), Trestles (now Surf Ranch) and Maui.
  • Since 2013: Prize money per event for the women on the CT has increased by 153%.
  • 2014: The WSL institutes pay parity for the men’s and women’s Championship Tour (CT) – all surfers, men and women, earn the same average prize money per surfer.
  • 2016: Women compete in the Big Wave Tour at Pe’ahi for the very first time.
  • 2017: The WSL appoints its first female CEO, Sophie Goldschmidt.
  • 2018: The WSL execute world-first co-ed, region vs. region Founders’ Cup.
  • 2018: Two Big Wave Tour (BWT) events scheduled for women: Pe’ahi and Mavericks.
  • 2019: Full prize money equality covering the Championship Tour, the Longboard Tour, the World Junior Championships and the Big Wave Tour starting on October 1st, 2018 (to March 2019).
  • Future: Working with event partners, the institution of equal prize money across all non-WSL-controlled Qualifying Series (QS) and Pro Junior events).


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simplefinsinlife Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 2:05pm

The developments such as increases in earnings, events, and wave quality at events, as outlined in the article are no doubt positive for women's surfing, and surfing in general, even women in general. However equality of pay, as the argument is being had out around the Western World, demands equal pay for the same work. According to the WSL Rules to win a CT event as a male competitor, you must make it through 4 rounds (+ finals) beating 35 other surfers, whereas as a female competitor, you must make it through just 3 rounds (+ finals) beating 17 other surfers. Moreover, the minimum number of days of the waiting period for men's events is 9 days, women's is 6 days. The equal prize money amounts to equal pay for less work, if you're a female competitor.

My point here isn't that women on tour don't put in huge hours into training, or aren't making significant sacrifices to get where they are. Perhaps they put in the same number of hour into training as the men. The point is more that if we can say we're comparing apples to apples, the men are putting more fruit from their cart than the women, and getting out of it the same amount of apple pie.

evosurfer's picture
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evosurfer Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 4:58pm

Absolutely ridiculous this equality rubbish is going too far.
For a start they don't give their sponsors anywhere near the value
male surfers do they have almost zero excitement value for viewers just
look at the numbers drop when theyre on and isn't there only 16 female
surfers on tour what a bloody joke.
If they want equality that's fine stand up and take responsibility that goes with it.
In other words pit them against the males now that's EQUALITY and drop the crap
but im only a women when it suits.

ron's picture
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ron Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 5:19pm

Cheap publicity for the WSL.

A few K extra prize money to even up the men and women in surfing? What about 3/4 of the womens tour getting paid a fortune for insta posts in bikinis meanwhile 3/4 of the mens tour cant get a proper major sponsor.

How about Ben Gravy getting new pro models and sponsors for surfing 1 foot New Jersey garbage most of the time but Laurie Towner has to swing a hammer.
Why? Ben gets minimum 10k views that day for each new video. He does them every day and they continue climbing. Hes probably getting 100k+ views per week. He has 50k subscribers and climbing fast. The WSL as a whole has 475k.

Whats the point of all this? There is no fairness, equality or sense in surfing.

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daisy duke kaha... Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 5:40pm

Damn straight, fellas. While we're at it I propose we scrap all age groups. If the grommets want real equality then they'd surf against the men. It's a bloody joke they should have their own age groups and take prizemoney that a man should be getting.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 6:43pm

Equal pay only highlights elitism over more deserved surfing sisters.
If pay was to reflect women's surfing ability then closing down sales would end the world.

Womens Surfing athleticism is pretty straightforward to sort if each are judged on 2 waves...

Women Body surfers (No assist)
Ironwomen (Racing boards/swimming between catching waves)
Disabled Women (Surfing bigger waves)
Women/Canine Tandem (Dual effort earns double the pay?)
SUP'S (Ride continues between waves)
Senior Women ( Ride the wave longer & paddle further)....
Add another 100 Surfchix if you like...Go all the way to top end ocean racers...
Former Sydney- Hobart winning skipper Kristy Hinze spent days at sea.
Out sailed the world's most wealthiest athletic men for no prizemoney whatsoever.

Somewhere down the end of our list you'll find...WSL Surf Chix .
Salons/chaperones/Massage/Float lounge/Wetties/Legropes/Jet Ski assist/Shark Patrol
10% of just one WSL Chix booty bankrolls all deserving surfing events & gets you change.
Don't get me wrong...those here know I support WSL Chix as any other or more so.

But this was never was about Athleticism nor Equal Pay.
"Future Dream is an "EQUAL" surf product Scheme"... Johnny Rotten II !
WSL Chix can equally pimp dumb'ass Boyztoyz for their Women's Sheds...Diva Jump Offs!
Good deal for the WSL men as they can now equally bitch about scary things in their hair.

CryptoKnight's picture
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CryptoKnight Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 7:24pm

Its a start, but now they should let the men be equal size to the women as well!!!!? Its not fair that the WSL men super 'lite 'thletes have to be so extraordinarily tiny in comparison to soph's girls!! Elevate the 'men' to equal size as the girls!!!

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goofyfoot Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 7:42pm

I don’t quite understand how the women are paid the same as the men yet the men have more competitors? 32 to 16 or something?
Does this mean the women have a better chance at earning bigger bucks than the men due to number of competitors?
Ps, I’ve been on the beers all arvy so I’m a bit schmozzled

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WarriSymbol Friday, 7 Feb 2020 at 1:28pm

Simply, the top 8 or so women will earn more.
That's because, to my eye, the women's talent drops off a cliff outside the top ten.

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 8:22pm

Some good points in comments above.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 9:43pm

I'll 2nd that indo-dreaming + CryptoKnight wins truth or dare...touche!
No bullying with just the right amounts of touchy-feely!
They're laying out our coffins...aren't they?

Right, Right, you're bloody well right
You got a bloody right to say...
(Crime of the Century- Supertramp)

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truebluebasher Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 10:34am

NRL "Men &Women on same pay for World Cup 9's" (Headline is misleading!)

World Cup 9's...each male female player is paid a base $2000 / Tournament
However Men play 3x more rounds than Women (WSL biased broadbrush Equality)
Men will compete in several more matches (Effectively paid a lower fee than women)
World Cup 9's Women are notably earning 3x more than NRL men per game.

Oceania Cup: All Players are paid $2500 per Test (Win lose or draw)
Naturally where more nations present more Tests are played for more payment.
Here, men would earn more but if it were Netball possibly women could earn more.

World Cup (Pending)

NRL Equality= Women earn 3x more per game in 9's / Men earn more in Oceania Cup

dimdim's picture
dimdim's picture
dimdim Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 2:56pm

Here come the transgender competitors as other sports have already found out. Be inclusive ladies !
The girls are going to be taking on macking Teaupoo and Pipe now aren,t they.?
Gotta be committed like the boys ladies !

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velocityjohnno Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 4:05pm

Imagine being dedicated and talented female athlete, then being nudged out of your events as transgender athletes take your place. That would be a tough one.

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Spuddups Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 4:17pm

This issue is a can of worms isn't it.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Tuesday, 29 Oct 2019 at 2:34pm

Sept 2019 California : Now illegal to pay Surf Women less.
tbb guesses this includes all competition surf brand sponsorship.
'Contest Sponsor' must be seen to price match Men & Women's endorsements?
Surfers would seek 3rd party offshore non surf sponsors to get around the deal.

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truebluebasher Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 3:29pm

Matildas = Socceroos
(Nearly all media automatically flicks to equal catch phrase book) Oh Yes! This 'll do!
CBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (4yr deal > Women's Oz World Cup bid)
Deal cuts an equal % of Tournament revenue.

Note: M/F Football tournaments will still play & pay unequally.

Men are paid higher & play more matches (Asian Cup WC/QF Men 22 vs Women 14)
Women are also set to include Pregnancy / Parental leave supplements.

Women updated their 'un-equal' 3 tier match pay > (1-$83k ) (2-$ 56k) (3-$40k)
Strange but true-Women demanded equal pay to rob own sisters more unfairly.
As you see...Some Oz team Women earn more than double their Aussie sister players

CBA Federations Australian Payment Plan (Both sexes equal % but not equal Pay!)
FIFA=$40% > $50% (knockout phase)
FFA = $40% (Return Friendlies + Tours)
Asian Cup = $30% > $33% (knockout phase)

"Equal Pay- Pub test"...compliments to Ms Anna Harrington for not going there!
Note the words 'Equal Pay' are absent from Anna's news title for good reason.
Note: FFA swore to renegotiate all Sponsor Contracts...'Striving for Equal pay'

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 5:48pm

(Surfing's Tournament Parent) Tennis.
Interstellar year for Oz women's Tennis.
Riches won by Ash Barty blow the whole equal pay argument out of the water.
Barty lost a match in WTA event but still won (6 years of total WSL M/F prizemoney)
1 Barty = 6,300 WSL Pros or (6 years) 126 M/F WSL comps of 50 pros)

(2022 Olympcs Gold Ticket) Tennis $54,000 vs Surfing $40
1 Female Tennis Olympian is worth 1,350 Male Surfing Olympians
As shown...(Surfing Olympics should cost no more than = $8 Ticket)
(tbb valued Tennis inspired 1977 ($1) Stubbies @ 2018 ($6)...(Price check- Ding! Ding!)

Tennis Women are earning same Tournament prize money as long haul career men.
But play less sets & often play less rounds.
Less opposition, less fitness & get paid well more for each performance and per/hour.
Women coaches can legitimize charging more then male coaches for shorter lessons.

There is no talk of evening up the playing field & $0.00 for Men's sporting dedication.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 6:15pm

Stab Top 10 (2018) Pro Surfers earning List (Includes Steph) Last pre (=) year.

WPS sign 10 year deal with WSL ( tbb will link direct to WSL for heavy bombshell )

This follows former champ Mick's 10 year deal earlier in the year...
Rip Curl sign 10 year deal with MF (tbb will link direct to Rip Curl for Mega Deal)

Both deals are extraordinary in any sport most of all Surfing...

WSL Career Surfing Uni degrees to franchise WSL wave pools nest eggs.

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truebluebasher Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 7:48pm

Pure Rapid Surf League Tour
Women earn Equal Prize Money with Men since at least - 2018 Tour
Well before -'Horrific Photo' & WSL chix... Possibly even earlier > 2016 League
All Pure Rapid Tour Events & Prize money pay 1- $500e > 2- $300e > 3 - $200e
10 Jan / Is a good example of Rapid Women's Surfing...
Click News and see Large Cheques all amount to same set prize money.

1st Oz Women's Wave Pool Ambassador
Swellnet congratulates Qld Surf Lake's Luca Doble.
Not sure if any other Oz Wave Pools have similar!
2012 Recall Sally & o/s WADI wave pools

[Beach Closed]
Women Jockeys shut down Qld #1 Surfer's Paradise Beach for a Horse Race.
Here the shoreline section [BEACH CLOSED] for Men vs Women Race Event
Post race > Some back footage clips show Horses bodybash'n A Frames on shorie.
Noosa NP/Main Beach line-up [closes] for otherwise illegal M/F dogs Surf Comp.

SLSQ Aussies /Cooly Gold / WSL don't allow M/F comps on the beach or in the surf.
Slydefest Handplane Event was an all in affair (Gromz / Chix / Pros) No beach closed!
Occasional WR Bikini Events may shut parts of beach.

Otherwise Princess Zara's mixed Troupe smashed surfie chix Glass Tanning Booth.
Note Bodysurfing & Horse Riding are earliest Qld male/female beach recreation.
Women also equally competed in first Goldie Fishing Comps early 1930's ? @ The Spit

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Friday, 7 Feb 2020 at 1:19pm

2020 WSL Equal Event Prize purse (Mens=$607,800) (Womens=$420,800)

WSL (No WSL competitor numbers equality)
Extra WSL men competitors require extra Men's prizemoney to include extra rounds.

WSL Men earn less per performance + must defeat more competitors than women.

$100,000 (Equal Prize) for non Equal WSL Competitor numbers
WSL Men surf 7 heats averaging $14,286 per performance /Appearance
WSL Women surf 6 heats averaging $16,666 per performance/Appearance
WSL Pro Women can legitimately charge higher for coaching fees & services / hr.
2020: WSL Pro Women Lesson $100 vs WSL Pro Men Lesson $80 (Far from equal?).

WSL Chix Comp Equality...Men =11 Comps vs Women = 10 Comps
Again...Men must surf more Comps as well as more rounds per comp to win a Title.
Men may be required to surf 77 rounds vs Women 60 rounds to win the WSL title.
Note WSL Men would forgo $40,500 for the extra effort.

1 BWT token buys the girlz one shot in WSL gaming reserve.

Redbull Airborne Series: (Sorry! No WSL Chix Allowed)
Macho Redbull is forever expanding the Tour (Now Brazil / US)
Sausage Fest keeps raising the bar...Chix don't measure up!

Hawaii North Shore Events: (Sorry! WSL Chix can't handle the power!)
1997-2010 Women's Hawaiian Triple Crown...Great Wrap by Surfer

2011- 2020 : (Sorry! No WSL Chix Allowed) Great call by Surfline

Vic Local's picture
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Vic Local Friday, 7 Feb 2020 at 2:15pm

While I commend the WSL for prize money equality, it's really hard to justify from a business perspective, especially when the WSL is losing serious cash.
Tennis is a classic example of a sport when equal prize money is entirely justified in terms of audience numbers, grass roots participation, and advertisers. Surfing on the other hand is extremely male dominated. Yes the women are great surfers but as soon as they replace the men on the coverage, audience numbers plummet. I bet merch sales and advertising revenue is way lower for women's surfing than men's. Good luck to the women making the big bucks, but it just puts the WSL on a more unsustainable business footing.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Tuesday, 5 May 2020 at 3:04pm

Are we led to believe that the equal Pay deal is applied all over or just prize money.

Left out of this equal debate is that 'more' boys pay higher membership/comp fees..
In a just world that fairly entitles the boys to their fair share.

All recall seeing that outrage...but an even bigger injustice was hiding outta frame.
Ask ! Did they pay equal amounts to join + enter comp & who paid for chix event.
Nah! Fuck the detail just stone the greedy grom! Picture never lies! Well it just did!
What you see is an illusion...more than that, the world owes that grom an apology.

tbb recently ran an eye over "New, far from being equal WSL Pay Deals"

WSL / Surfing Australia lets local clubs set own membership & comp fees.

tbb won't signal out individual clubs but was shocked to see the fee gap.
Memberships ( Women get 25% discount off Mens fees)
Contest Fees (Women only pay 30% of Comp fee as to Men in same comp!)
Not always, but different Boardrider clubs manipulate women to suit own agenda...

WSL QS ...
WSL QS Women's event tagged onto a Men's event scores- [ Free licensing deals ]
Code: (QS chix are just worthless barbie dolls that forever leech off the poster boyz).

So where did WSL get that archaic idea from...perhaps a page from their own book.

WSL Entry Fees (Note WSL mix amounts over pages as so not to compare the pair!)

WSL QS Membership
$150 Women / $250 Men

WSL QS Comp Fees for Equal prize money as shown.

QS - 3000 : $100 Women / $200 Men
QS - 6000 : $100 Women / $250 Men
QS 10000 : $150 Women / $325 Men

Number of contestants 48 women + 96 men
Men pay more to enter & earn less per performance than their sisters.
Men also put more in the kitty to attract sponsors to prop up the Women's event

Winners may earn the same, but that's not the same as being paid equal, is it now.
Get paid equally for the amount of work you do is the fair way...(WSL hide that fact!)

Remigogo's picture
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Remigogo Tuesday, 5 May 2020 at 5:44pm

Go easy tbb..

The women aren't paying for the same photogenic bowls of cream.

Or should they anyway?

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Sunday, 29 Nov 2020 at 5:08pm

2020 (Equal Prize Money) Media Timeline ( Some real eye openers in this lot! )

March 2020 - Wahines muscle up to Northshore bullies.
For over 10 years The North Shore has closed out Women's Surf Comps.

May 2020 - Founding Mothers of Pro Surfing ( Great resource on women's pay)
Plenty of past Pay Packet Shockers + Women comp bans etc...

Aug 2020 - An overlooked fact that Surfing elbows the ranks of Tennis sisters.
Women clearly perform in less rounds & arena time for same Prize Pools as Men.
Women's appearance fees far exceed lesser paid per round fellow male athletes.
Until events carry equal competitors & rounds then women remain above equal pay.
tbb is not phased if women earn more...just saying it's absurd to claim it's equal.

Sept 2020-Women's Agenda [16:50- 28:30 ] Shitshow - Girls can't surf.( Layne.B)
Only the best background on Women's Pay discussions here... Salute!

Nov 2020 (VIDEO) WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt interview on Surfing's Equal Pay
Sophie : We as in WSL certainly sounds like Sophie still works for WSL?

Nov 2020 - Wash-up (Pod) Equal Pay in surfing (Women's Longboarderz)
This feature investigates alt' longboarderz pay structure...good short interviews.

Vic: WT (2004 - 2010) Emma Paillex (2000 comp - W $150 - M $15,000)
Qld : WSL (2018 -2020) Kirra Mulder (All Equal - Pay / Conditions / Crowds)

WSL (CT) M/W combo events from 4 > 9
WSL (CT) Women's Prize money up 153% / event
World Tour Events up (2013) -14 Events > (2020) - 64 Events

Stadium Talk by Craig Lazzeretti (Best Women Surfers in the world) All Level / Style.
Quite an amazing tribute to Women Surfers (Frame by Frame + Rundown)
Exceptional Photo Library....equally explosive classic & big wave shots.
Encyclopedia style Edition...this is a dedicated celebration of Surfers. (Top shelf)

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 9:55am

Meanwhile back on the beach, the sisters must hand back their prize money for not wearing bikinis.
Norway's Beach Handball Team were fined $2047 for being "improperly clothed".
Translation : "They ditched their Dental Floss for Lycra Shorts...can no longer perv on their Cheeky Bums."

Beach Handball's Rules stipulate that Chix wear "Cheeky Bikinis" & Blokes wear Singlets & Shorts.

World Beach Handball Fan emptied the Arena at the sheer thought of Beach Babes in Bike Pants.

Netball Sisters are burning their Skirts for the Lycra...(Note most Youth Leagues still ban Lycra.)

Of Note: Junior Netball Tops must be daggy enough to prevail when their Number Bib is worn.
Pro players wear numbers printed on their tightly cropped ever more revealing Bikini Top micro skirts.

Sexploited Netball Brothers burnt their pervy Singlets for less revealing Polo Shirt / Shorts (No Zips or pockets)