Women’s basketball is a professional and Olympic sport that has been around for over a century. During that time, it has grown from a fringe effort to a global phenomenon.
How did it get to this point? If you’ve got the time, we’ve created a brief history of the sport to show where it came from and where it is going in the future.
The first mention of women’s basketball
The first mention of women’s basketball wasn’t all that far away on the timeline from men’s basketball. They were developed at the same time, in the late 1800s. The first cited women’s basketball game started in 1892 at Smith College. Senda Berenson is credited with bringing the sport to the college to get more young women involved with it. While the game didn’t look the same as today, 1892 is the accepted date for the start of women’s basketball.
Early women’s basketball
Basketball started at Smith College under modified rules and without the equipment that is seen on modern teams. Perhaps the biggest difference between then and now is that the early days of women’s basketball were completely intramural. That meant that the teams were coming from the college itself and not others. However, it wasn’t long before the women started wanting to compete against other schools. The first intercollegiate women’s basketball game occurred in 1896 between women from the University of California, Berkeley, and women from Stanford University. Oddly enough, Berenson was against the women of Smith College playing against other ladies, citing the social sensibilities of the time. However, that would wear off as the sport became more popular and as more women joined the teams at their colleges.
Rules and equipment
Women’s basketball was not played the way that we imagine it today. For one thing, each side had nine players on the court at the same time, so the court was more crowded. Three members of every team were put into one of the positions on the court: forward, guard, or center. After every score, there was a jump at center court for control of the ball. When a woman did get the ball, she could only dribble it three times and then pass or shoot, or she could hold it for three seconds and then get rid of the ball. These rules didn’t last long because they were modified at Smith College, and that is the best-known case available to us today.
Another interesting thing about women’s basketball aside from the rules was the equipment. Today, women have uniforms that facilitate athleticism. However, in the past, they had pants with skirts over them. Their shirts were long-sleeved as well. The ball used was a soccer ball and then basket was an actual peach basket at the outset of the sport.
Modern rules have a shot clock of 24 seconds, 10 minute quarters at the pro level, and a ball that is 72.4 cm in circumference.
Needless to say, innovation in the rules and equipment helped out this sport a lot!
Levels of competition
There are several levels of competition available around the world for this sport. For example:
- Youth sports leagues
- Town and city teams
- Secondary school teams
- University teams (NCAA)
- Professional (WNBA)
- International competitions (FIBA)
There are many levels of women’s basketball in the world today.
Around the world
The United States has the largest league for professional women’s basketball, the WNBA. However, nations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania each have various professional leagues. Thousands of women are playing basketball around the world at the professional level, and millions of others are playing for competitive fun.
Top 5 the best Women’s Basketball Players
Women have been playing basketball almost as long as men have. Experts from uptoflirt.com have prepared some interesting facts about the history of women’s basketball and it’s top players.
Of course, it’s possible to adjust this list every year as some people increase in skill while others wane. That being said, keep an eye on each of these women and you’ll see a high degree of expertise in the game.
Women’s basketball is a game that had humble beginnings. It was a far cry from what we know and love today. It’s important to take a step back and realize where a sport came from and how it can be traced to its modern incarnation. While the WNBA and other professional organizations are doing very well, the players, coaches, and others are still fighting the battle for pay that is similar to the men’s versions of sports. You can find more about this struggle online, too. In the future, there could be true equality in all aspects of the sport.