March Madness - Pass the ball!
The first of a three-part Sports Series
It’s March Madness. I’ve always enjoyed women’s basketball. At it’s best it is a team sport on every play. Great players will stand out as leaders but when played well, it is a team sport that can come down to great coaching in a clutch.
When I played basketball in Oklahoma in the 70′s and early 80′s the women played half court / 6 to a team. It really is a completely different game and we loved playing it. I had no idea that were playing it because they didn’t think we “could run that far”. We had fun. We had great competition both playing in school and on church leagues (which are VERY series business in Oklahoma). Because I was a forward, I got to shoot the ball a lot. It seemed to work out okay for me. I did get to actually dribble the ball as much as I liked, not just twice before passing. We did have that progress by 1980, ha!
Beginning in 1958 the Office of Civil Rights started looking at banning six-on-six high school girls basketball. It would take 37 years to phase it out.
When my grandmothers played in the 1920s they didn’t even dribble at all, they were told to stand and pass and shoot and “don’t run”. A visit to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville is a wonderful experience and the history of the sport tracks the women’s movement for equality from a unique perspective.
March is an excellent time to help our girls (and boys) understand the depth of rich history there is in the process of simply passing the ball so that everyone can play.