A History of Basketball for Girls and Women: From Bloomers to Big Leagues

A History of Basketball for Girls and Women: From Bloomers to Big Leagues

by Joanne Lannin

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Children's Literature
This well-researched, well-written text is a fascinating account of the beginning of women's basketball. Almost from its invention for men by James Naismuth in 1891, women have been playing organized basketball. Basketball remained only for men for one week. A group of women teachers passed the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts where men were playing the recently organized game, and they immediately asked to join in. At the time, basketball was thought to be too strenuous for women, but rules were soon adapted so that proper young ladies could play. The rest is history and an interesting one. By 1997, progress and changing laws allowed women's basketball to develop into the fast-paced Women's National Basketball Association. Old photographs and drawings as well as more up-to-date photos are sprinkled throughout the text, adding interest to this wonderful account. Leaders in playing and coaching are featured, as well as the sport's gradual development to the college and professional levels. Of interest to all women who ever played a sport. 2000, Lerner Publications,
Not riveting reading, for the most part, but interesting and thorough, which will be helpful for students researching this topic. Since the history of women and basketball actually tells a larger story of society's attitudes about women and their physical capabilities, there is a broader story told in these 144 pages. Imagine a world in which adults thought physical exercise was harmful to girls, when doctors thought playing basketball during the days a girl is having her period would hurt her, that girls scrambling to grab a basketball was unseemly behavior—this is all part of the history of basketball for girls and women. When basketball was first introduced in the 19th century, girls played the game with dresses, and the story of how basketball uniforms have changed over the century is a story in itself. The rules of the game have undergone the same slow transformation that corresponds to the changes in attire, and Lannin covers these rules changes thoroughly. The frequent photographs illustrate this larger story, with the aggressive, physical women playing professional ball today a far cry from the demure women in skirts who took to the game in the 1890s. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, Lerner/First Avenue Editions,144p, illus, bibliog, index, 26cm, 99-050643, $9.95. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; November 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 6)
Lannin provides an exhaustive history of women's basketball from its inception at Smith College in 1891 to the success of the WNBA and the 1999 NCAA women's championship tournament. Twelve chapters follow the chronology of women's basketball in the United States. After Smith's Senda Berenson adapted James Naismith's new sport to suit women, it struggled to gain acceptance in the prim and proper women's colleges at the turn of the century. With time and continued revision, the sport gained popularity in the South and West before eventually catching on in most American high schools and colleges. Even after being established as a school and professional sport, the game continued to evolve, first to a six-player team format, which remained popular in Oklahoma and Iowa until the 1990s, and eventually to the present five-player format. Lannin leaves no one out in her comprehensive coverage of the history of women's basketball. The stories of prominent coaches and athletes and supporters and critics, and their roles in the development of women's basketball comprise the bulk of the chapters. The entire book is supported richly by interesting illustrations, photos, and documents from the 1890s to today. This text is a must-read for serious basketball players and coaches of both genders and will certainly be popular among female players. The text can be read from start to finish, but each chapter stands alone, allowing finicky readers to select which aspect of the game they would like to read about, Trade pb. Index. Photos. Further Reading. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High,defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Lerner, 144p. PLB . Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Chris Crowe SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Well-designed series entries featuring attractive covers and dozens of black-and-white and full-color photographs with captions. Wrestling briefly covers the colorful history of this sport from ancient times to the present day. One chapter is included on wrestling in Japan during the last few years, and some mention is given to wrestling in Europe and Mexico, but the focus is on the United States during the last 20 years. Personal and career highlights are related for many stars including Gorgeous George; Hulk Hogan; Bret Hart; Steve Austin; Andre the Giant; and promoter Vince McMahon, whose outrageous acts and use of marketing propelled pro wrestling to previously unimaginable heights of popularity. Greenberg doesn't shy away from the controversies that surround pro wrestling, including the entertainment versus sport debate, steroid abuse, and the behind-the-scenes deals that affected many athletes' lives. The author also covers the role of women in pro wrestling. Readers interested in the topic will gravitate to this book and learn that what they are watching are finely crafted, physically demanding soap operas, (as admitted by McMahon and others), not pure sport. Basketball covers the history of the sport and discusses how the changes in it over the last 100 years reflect the changes in American society. This fascinating account also provides information on female stars, coaches, officials, and rules and will satisfy fans as well as student researchers; in fact, there is no comparable book available on the subject for this age group.-Michael McCullough, Byron-Bergen Middle School, Bergen, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sports Legacy Series
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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