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|Team members||Five on-court players per team|
|Type||Team sport, ball sport|
Women's basketball was developed in the late 1800s in tandem with its men's counterpart. It became popular, spreading from the
Women's basketball began in the fall of 1892 at
However, Berenson was taking risks simply in teaching the game to women. Nineteenth-century Victorian culture stressed the frailty of women and prioritized the status of women in the home, and Berenson expressed concern about the women suffering from "nervous fatigue" if games were too strenuous for them. In order to keep it acceptable for women to play at all within Victorian ideals of refinement and gentility, she taught modified rules. She increased participation to nine players per team, and the court was divided into three areas. Three players were assigned to each area (guard, center, and forward) and could not cross the line into another area. The ball was moved from section to section by passing or dribbling, and players were limited to three dribbles and could only hold the ball for three seconds. No snatching or batting the ball away from another player was allowed. A center jump was required after each score. Variations of Berenson's rules spread across the country via YMCAs and women's colleges, where educated middle-class women were following the prevailing trend in men's games of playing intercollegiate sports.
Early basketball was played with peach baskets and soccer balls, similarly to the men's game, but women's uniforms again reflected the Victorian culture of the times and were designed to be practical, yet maintain the woman athlete's dignity and femininity. While upper-class women had been playing sports at country clubs since the mid-nineteenth century, they were able to participate in activities such as tennis and croquet in full-length skirts and corsets. However, similar attire was impractical for a more active sport like basketball, so the first trousers for women were worn. Initially loose and covered by a knee-length skirt, these early pants were replaced soon after by loose bloomers over stockings. Despite men being forbidden from watching these collegiate games, the attire still drew public ridicule.
Originally exclusively intramural, the first intercollegiate women's basketball game was played between teams from