If we take a look at the popular games like soccer, tennis, golf and others we will see a very common pattern. Each of these games is dominated by males where female participation began much later. As a result, the female event becomes almost a mere formality.
The game in focus, which is basketball of course, is a bit different. It is a game which has been practiced by women simultaneously with men. The history of women’s basketball is no shorter than men’s basketball.
Basketball is a predominantly American game. It is no wonder that women’s basketball, as like men’s basketball, began in USA. The game of basketball was first practiced among female students of Smith College in 1982. It was initially practiced as an instructor at Smith College believed it would be beneficial to the health of the female students.
Initially women’s basketball had modified rules as it was feared that a full blown basketball game can prove to be too demanding for women. The court was divided into three separate areas which were called, as you have guessed it, guard, center and forward. Nine players took part in each game and they were divided in three sections. Each section was deployed at one area. Interestingly players could not get out of their area which means if a player started the game deployed as a guard then that player will remain in the guard area for the entire duration of the game. This rule ensured that female players would not have to take too much of stress over their body to play basketball.
These modified rules did not sustain in the long run, though. Soon basketball rules became almost identical for women and men. International Olympic Committee took note of women’s basketball in the early 70s and it was included in Olympic Games in 1976. Since its inclusion USA has won gold medal in this event for seven times while Soviet Russia won it twice. In 1992 the gold went to Unified Team- a composite team made up of twelve of the fifteen former soviet republics. Today various women’s basketball international competitions and professional leagues take place throughout the world. WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) was established in 1996 and is the most sought after women’s basketball league in the world.