Women's basketball...I think it's been around long enough where the guys have stopped makin' fun of it.....yeah, even the beer-bellied ones. In fact, I'll bet the majority of guys enjoy watching these games.

Some people don't think women's basketball has been around for as long as it has...it actually kicked off in 1892 at Smith, a women's College in Northampton, Massachusetts. This was due to the persistence of Senda Berenson, the phys-ed director. She taught the girls how to play basketball as a way to get them healthier; this resulted in basketball becoming the first women's sport to have teams.

Senda received criticism for her efforts, not because the sport was too 'manly' for women, but because that particular time in history was more old-world Victorian. Meaning, the culture was intent on keeping women in the home, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom. Sensing this, Senda modified the game rules in order to protect the ladies:
Nine players on a team
No grabbing the ball away from an opposing player
No smacking the ball out of an opposing player's hands
Whenever someone scored, a center jump was required

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There were other rules, and soon other women's colleges, YMCAs, and high schools began using them and starting up their own girls' basketball teams.

The very early basketball games didn't even use basketballs...they used soccer balls, thrown into peach baskets. The girls' uniforms were stiffly Victorian too, still attempting to maintain their femininity and the incorrect label “the weaker sex”. Eventually, the girls were allowed to wear pants, followed by bloomers with stockings. The men were not allowed to watch girls basketball, thanks to the bloomer uniforms...soon, that rule was dropped,

While colleges and high schools all across the country already had their female basketball teams, the first professional women's basketball team wasn't created until 1936 when the All American Red Heads team was founded.

Below is a gallery of some of Michigan's high school girls basketball teams.
See any bloomers here?

Girls' Basketball in Various Michigan Towns: 1905-1920s


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