History Of Women's Basketball

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History of Women's Basketball


Sport and physical activity for girls and women is experiencing phenomenal growth. The increase in participation by girls and women has been a result of second generation of Title IX beneficiaries, legal decisions supportive of Title IX, societal acceptance of females as athletes, improved and increased media coverage, as well as advocacy efforts of individuals and organizations. This paper focuses on the leadership of individual women as well as organizations that have made a difference in the lives of girls and women participating in sports today. More specifically, the paper focuses on physical education and sport management because leaders in both of these fields directly contributed to the participation opportunities girls and women have today. Both physical education and sport management have a rich history of female leaders who shaped these professions. This paper provides an overview of the evolution of sport and physical activity, the emergence of physical education and sport management as academic disciplines, the history of women as leaders in physical education and sport management academia, and future careers within these fields (Axthelm, 89-96).

19th Century

Women's basketball commenced in 1892, when Senda Berenson, a physical educator (Smith College), altered Naismith rules to befit the 'requirements' of women. She had eighteen students in total and she decided that each team consisted of nine players. In the beginning, this number was reduced to seven, and later to the current limit of five players. The board was created to keep fans in the gallery where hanging baskets were located to impede the entry of the ball. Over time, the repurposed peach baskets were replaced by net steel rings with no holes to reach the fans gallery.

20th and 21st Century

Basketball was a demonstration sport at the 1928 and 1932 Olympics, reaching Olympic Status in 1936. Here, Naismith had the opportunity to see how his creation was converted into an Olympic Sport, when Adolf Hitler accompanied it in the Royal Box in Germany. Women's basketball had to wait until 1976 for admission as an Olympic sport. The people liked the game and it was soon established in America. In Europe, came from the hand of the YMCA headquarters in Paris, France. It was not until the First World War that took great momentum, thanks to U.S. soldiers who were playing in their spare time. Basketball now has wide distribution in different countries around the world, being one of the sports with more participants and regular competitions in different areas and countries. In the U.S., is held by the National Basketball Association NBA, considered the world's best basketball competition clubs. The three-point line (threefold), was tested in the United States in 1933. However, it would be adopted by the ABA until 1968, reaching the NBA in the 1979-80 seasons. In FIBA ??basketball would have to wait until 1984 to become part of its regulation. In 2008, women's participation in sport reached its highest levels within the nation's Intercollegiate Athletic Programs.


It was not until the First World War that took great momentum, ...
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