Women's basketball started one year after the game emerged. Women's basketball has a long proven track record of success: college and professional teams, intercollegiate contests, as well as the Olympics. 

Are you wondering how this game developed period after period? Scroll down and enjoy these historical notes that are marking today’s women’s basketball. 

History of Women's Basketball

Early Years: 1891-1914

The formation of the first women's team, the first women's collegiate game, and the first publication on the sport defined the early days of women's basketball.

The Sport's Evolution: 1920–38

Industrial leagues with teams made up of corporate workers emerged in the 1920s and 1930s, as did the admission of women's basketball in the Olympics and the formation of two competitive Black women's basketball dominant performance teams.

Advancement of the Game: 1940-79

From the restructuring of the sport's international tournament to the incorporation of women's basketball in the Paralympics and the approval of Title IX, which requires federally-funded schools to fund women's sports, including basketball. 

The timeframe from World War II to the late 1970s witnessed these breakthroughs in women's basketball.

The 1980s: Growing Professional Influence 

The 1980s saw the rise of women's basketball as a pro sport, as well as significant advancements in the sport at the college stage. During the decade, the US women's basketball team actually won gold at the Summer Olympics two times.

The 1990s: Representing a New Era

For the first time in the 1990s, a women's basketball coach got a tremendous prize, as well as the formation and expansion of the WNBA.

The 2000s & Beyond: More Gold, More Glory

To begin the new millennium, the United States women's basketball team won another gold medal in the Summer Olympics, while the WNBA celebrated its first decade.

At the most recent Olympic games, the United States women's basketball team earned its seventh consecutive gold medal.

Why is this significant? The United States women's basketball team has won seven gold medals overall and hasn't ended up losing an Olympic game since 1992.

Men’s vs Women’s Basketball

Basketball was once played distinctively between men and women at the college scale, just as it was in the major leagues. 

Even today, at the college level, there are minor differences in the guidelines for men's and women's games. The following are some of the differences.

Size of the Ball

A regulation women's basketball size for women is one inch smaller than a basketball for men. 28.5 basketball is used in women's leagues like the WNBA, college, and high school, while kids basketballs are smaller.

3-Point Line

The three-point line in men's collegiate basketball is 22 feet and 1 3/4 inches from the rim. The three-point line in women's collegiate basketball is 20 feet, 9 inches away.


There is always a dispute about whether or not the men's and women's games should have separate rules.

The men's game is tremendous, but the women's game is gathering momentum. In regards to income and audience, the men's game has dominated the women's game for the bulk of NCAA Basketball history. 

However, recent trends reveal that the women's game has been steadily developing over the last 10 years. 

It’s worth noting that the average audience for the 2020 women's basketball finals increased by 15 percent from the previous year, while the men's finals dropped by 49 percent.


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