Basketball was created in 1891. One year later, a teacher named Sendra Berenson, organized the first women’s basketball team. She changed the rules to have 3 zones and 6 players on each team so that she could teach cooperation between the teammates. In 1893, the first game of women’s basketball was played at Smith College, however no men were allowed at the game. After that, many colleges all over the country started adding women’s basketball teams to their schools. In 1896, the first intercollegiate women’s basketball game was played. Again, men were excluded and women guarded the doors to make sure no man would go in.

Between the years 1899 and 1914, many people spoke out against women’s basketball, they weren’t allowed to take part in the Olympics. In 1921, a sports competition was held for women’s sports excluded from the Olympics. Even though this a very significant event for women’s basketball, an organization named Women’s Division of the National Amateur Athletic Federation (WDNAAF), was created, and worked towards banning women’s basketball from the U.S. It went on like this until 1953. There were tournaments held for women’s basketball, and there were people such as the WDNAAF who tried to suppress these. In 1953, women’s basketball was included in the Pan-American Games and the US won the gold medal.

The sport became more popular after 1973. Colleges started offering basketball scholarships to women, and in 1976, women’s basketball became an Olympic sport. that is what they were trying to achieve for 50 years! After that, many women’s basketball leagues where established, along with the WNBA, which continues to be successful to this day. After a long struggle, basketball became open to everyone who wanted take part in it.

CC BY-SA 4.0 A History of Women’s Basketball by Thalia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Sean Elliot 5 months ago

    Dear Thalia,

    Your post “A History of Women’s Basketball” is very informational and interesting. I like how you explained the history of Women’s basketball, even from the beginning. “Basketball was created in 1891. One year later, a teacher named Sendra Berenson, organized the first women’s basketball team. She changed the rules to have 3 zones and 6 players on each team so that she could teach cooperation between the teammates.” This is important to add since this was how Women’s basketball started.

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