this work is dealing almost exclusively with North Carolina
high school girls basketball, the following is general information
that directly and indirectly affected our state's game.
1920's through the 1940's, competitive women's basketball
flourished in industrial towns, rural areas, and African
American communities around the country.
leagues: Teams of players sponsored by the companies they
work for begin to emerge. Companies begin to recruit women right out of high school or college
because a winning team is good publicity.
Two-handed overhead field goal now is worth one point (instead
of two, because only vertical guarding is allowed and this shot has been perfected).
Rules state there must be at least six players on a side,
maximum of nine in order to lessen
competition/stress (5 player) and congestion (10 players).
Tie games are allowed to stand "to minimize the
emphasis on winning."
The National Amateur and Athletic Federation (NAAF) is founded,
committed to boys and girls being on an
"equal footing with the same standards, the same program
and the same regulations."
Henry Hoover, head of Girl Scouts of America and wife of
President Herbert Hoover, helps the Women's
Division of the National Amateur Athletic Federation (WDNAAF).
The WDNAAF holds its first conference. It attacks competitive
athletics, especially basketball as being unhealthy and
inappropriate. Concern that women's scholastic athletics
will begin to resemble men's (quasi- professional, corrupt,
promoting betting) they promote a "Sports for Sports
As interscholastic competition disappears, alternatives
developed. Some areas developed "Play Days" during
which different schools would gather, mix together and play
against each other. High schools throughout
stablished athletic clubs for girls. Each school formed
teams according to grades. The seniors, juniors,
sophomores, and freshmen competed against each other in
a manner similar to present-day intramural sports.
girls' Athletic Associations remained the most common form
of women's sports until the 1970s.
Rules: Eight-minute quarters with two minutes between quarters
and a 10-minute half time. No coaching is
allowed in the two minutes between quarters.
Goals scored by one-hand overhand throw, two-hand underhand
throw, the shot-put throw and the throw
with back to the basket also count as one point. 37 states
hold high school varsity basketball and/or state
WDNAAF passes a resolution outlawing extramural competition,
opposing gate receipts at women’s games,
all travel for women’s games, and all publicity of
women’s sports. The National Association of Secondary
School Principals supports the resolution. They pressure
high school sports associations to disband
tournaments and are most successful in Eastern states and
large city schools, less so in rural states.
convention in New York City focuses their ire on businesses,
chambers of commerce, and church groups who look to improve their public image through successful
Players must wear numbers on the back of their jerseys.
Women's National Officials Ruling Committee, the first national
women's officiating board is formed.
They publish the pamphlet: "Techniques for the Woman
Official as Referee or Umpire in Girls Basketball.
WDNAAF continues to apply pressure and, in many states,
competitive basketball at elementary, high school
and college level all but disappears.
Seamless, 30" ball standardized. Allows for new moves
such as the bounce pass, lay up, and jump shot.
Guarding on any plane is made legal (making the game much
more exciting and skillful). All field goals
now count two points. Two options to start the game: a center
throw-in or a jump-up.
Center throw-in mandatory (no jump-ball to start game).
The All-American Red Heads are founded by C.M. Olson of
Cassville, Missouri. The most successful women's barnstorming
team ever, they only played men’s teams and by men’s
rules. Featured in popular magazines and on television,
they continued to play up through the mid-seventies.
Three-court game changed nationally to two-court game with
six players per team at all levels. A team is
three guards and three forwards. Only forwards can score
but all players are part of action.
Team scored against, either by field goal or free throw,
gets ball at center court (previously, possession
alternated after each goal, also at center court).
Players must wear numbers both front and back.
Limited two-bounce dribble with no height definition allowed,
as well as a timeout for all fouls and free
throws, and guarding is redefined-one or both arms, legs
or body in any plane now permitted.
NSWA rule book shows that the official "maximum"
size of the court is 94 feet in length by 50 feet in
Rule change allows coaching during timeouts and halftime.
Overtime period established. Following one overtime, games
are decided by "sudden death."
Rules: NSGWS rule book shows the "minimum" size
is 72 feet by 42 feet.
Three seconds in the lane is a violation.
Ball can be tied-up with two hands around ball held by opponent.
A missed free throw continues in play (bringing back the
art of rebounding).
After successful field goal or free throw, other team gets
ball at the end line. Three-bounce dribble
allowed. Each team is permitted two players to roam the
entire court and "snatching" the ball once again
Player can hold ball indefinitely if not closely guarded;
five seconds if closely guarded (instead of three seconds).
Part of old vertical guarding rule returns as "holding
both arms extended horizontally" is prohibited. Two
free throws awarded last two minutes of each half "to
make it unprofitable to deliberately foul." All these
changes are made by a joint committee of the Division of
Girls’ and Women’s Sports (now the National
Association for Girls and Women in Sport - NAGWS) and the
Continuous, unlimited dribble becomes official.
Coaching from the sidelines is no longer a foul.
Five-player, full-court game and 30-second clock become
official under AAU/DGWS rules (not Iowa or Oklahoma).
[Source: Timeline Copyright WomensBasketballOnline.Com and