A B.C. baseball team’s promotion encouraging women to dig through dirt in search of jewelry boxes is demeaning and out-of-date, according to some unimpressed fans.

So-called “diamond digs” have been around for years, but Sunday will mark the first time the Victoria HarbourCats has hosted one.

The team promises every woman who attends will be given a spoon they can use to find ring boxes in the dirt by the backstop after the game ends.

Whoever finds the box with an actual ring in it will receive a $1,000 gift card to a local jewelry company.

“This is going to be a lot of fun,” team spokeswoman Mila Laurence said on the HarbourCats website.

“We think this could turn into one of the signature promotions we do every year at HarbourCats games, one of those dates people circle on the pocket schedule.”

Not everyone is so enthusiastic, however.

Dr. Janni Aragon, an associate professor of political science at the University of Victoria, said news of the promotion left her rolling her eyes.

“They’re trying to do something fun here and I am sympathetic to that,” she said. “This just plays with some of the old tropes about women competing with one another for the affection of a man.”

Aragon, who identifies as a feminist and a HarbourCats fan, said she’s hopeful the team will handle the promotion better than it’s been done in other cities, where the choice of music and commentary from announcers has added to the degradation factor.

A throwing contest or feat of strength would have made for a better promotion, Aragon added, but she’s not losing any sleep over the dig.

“I love baseball, I love the HarbourCats,” she said. “I’d prefer that they had a different activity, but I’m not going to boycott – or girlcott – the game.”

No one from the team was available to comment on Friday, but the HarbourCats Twitter account sent a message this week suggesting they haven’t heard any objections to the diamond dig.

“So great to have nothing but great responses,” it read.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Bhinder Sajan