USA Basketball for Women’s

October 5, 2022

Clara Baer, who introduced Women’s basketball at the H. Sophie Newcomb Women’s Academy in New Orleans, influenced the style of the women’s game with her set of women’s rules published in 1895. Upon receiving Naismith’s pitch chart, Bell mistook the dotted lines, indicating areas where players might best perform team play, as limit lines, resulting in forwards, centers, and defenders to designated areas. It seems fitting since many think men’s game is too strenuous for women.


The rules for women have been revised frequently over the years. Until 1971, only six players were on a team, and the pitch was so divided that three forwards did all the scoring in the frontcourt, and three defenders were in charge of the backcourt. Senda Berenson played the first women’s college basketball game in 1893 when her first- and second-year student Smith College girls played against each other. U.C. (Berkeley) women play Stanford, April 1895. Despite many obstacles (such as being considered unladylike), women’s basketball has gradually gained a foothold.


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In the 1980s, control of the women’s collegiate game was transferred from the Intercollegiate Women’s Athletics Association (AIAW) to the NCAA, a move that simplified operations and increased efficiency. It raised the profile of women’s basketball. The women’s NCAA tournament runs concurrently with the men’s, and many games are televised nationally. In 1976, women’s basketball became an Olympic sport.


Colleges heavily recruit individual female stars, but players often find they have no chance of going beyond the college level. Leagues are occasionally formed, such as the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WPBL); the WPBL started in 1978 and lasted only three years. The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) ultimately filled the void. Aligned with the mighty NBA, the WNBA held its inaugural season with eight teams in 1997. By 2006, the Women’s NBA had grown to 14 teams, although the Charlotte Stings disbanded after the season, as did the Houston Comets, the inaugural WNBA champion in 2008. The Sacramento Monarchs dissolved in 2009. Eastern Conference consists of Atlanta Dreams, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Suns (in Uncasville), Indiana Heat (in Indianapolis), New York Liberty (in New York City), & Washington (D.C.) Mystics composition. The Western Conference includes the Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx (Minneapolis), Phoenix Mercury, San Antonio Silver Stars, Seattle Storm, and Tulsa (Oklahoma) Shock. Women’s professional basketball is played in the summer.

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