Did you know? Basketball is one of the only sports where the women’s sport developed at the same time as the men’s counterpart. Women’s basketball spread from coast to coast via women’s colleges from 1895 to 1970, back when it was known as netball.
It all began in the winter of 1892 when Senda Berenson, a teacher at Smith College, taught the sport to her students, hoping to improve their health. Early women’s basketball was affiliated with the YMCA, but the sport quickly spread to colleges throughout the United States. Berenson has since been honored for her contribution to the sport and women’s athletics in general, earning a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
When Berenson introduced the sport to women, she was worried about the players suffering from nervous fatigue because the game is so strenuous. In an effort to keep it less stressful for the women playing, she modified the rules. Berenson divided the court into three sections and put nine players on each team. Three players were assigned to each section of the court and couldn’t cross into another playing section. No stealing or batting the ball from another player was allowed.
Yes, women were treated quite delicately in the beginning. But oh, how times have changed! Today women play at an elite level that mirrors the intensity of the NBA. In fact, today’s professional league is officially linked to the men’s league. The evolution of play in women’s basketball is truly impressive.
As the popularity and prominence of the sport grew, so too did the market for women’s gear. Back in the 1800s, women played in skirts and also included long-sleeved shirts and collars.
Needless to say, women’s basketball attire has also caught up with men’s gear. Now, you can find modern uniform essentials ranging from fan jerseys to women’s basketball socks.
Modern Day Women’s Basketball
Berenson’s freshmen team played the sophomore class in the first-ever women’s college basketball game in March 1893. By 1895, the game had spread across the country to multiple other colleges. The first intercollegiate women’s basketball game occurred in 1896, when the Stanford women played California.
By the 1970’s, women’s basketball had garnered attention from the International Olympic Committee, who added women’s basketball to the list of official sports in 1976. It was also in the 1970’s that schools began receiving federal funding to become compliant with new laws mandating players not be discriminated against based on their gender.
The first five player, full court game rules were adopted in 1974 by the women’s sports foundation. Thanks to new funding and attention, women’s basketball gained serious popularity as a college sport.
In 1982 the sport hit another major milestone when the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, started sponsoring women’s basketball. In 1996, the National Basketball Association founded the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) to bring the sport to a professional level.
WNBA Basketball Backed by the NBA
The WNBA was formed in 1996 as the women’s counterpart to the men’s NBA. The season runs from June to September, and most of the women’s teams are based in the same cities as the NBA. The names of the teams are also very similar to the NBA teams in the same area, such as the Washington Mystics (WNBA) and Washington Wizards (NBA).
Although the WNBA isn’t the first women’s professional basketball league in the U.S. (that honor belongs to the now-defunct WBL), it is the only league that has been backed by the NBA.
The first WNBA season began in 1997 on the tail of a very public gold medal win by the Women’s National Team in the 1996 Olympic games. The league started with eight teams and the first game featured the Los Angeles Sparks against the New York Liberty. It was televised nationally on NBC.
The league now consists of 12 teams that are divided into two conferences: East and West. Each of the teams plays 34 regular season games and the eight teams with the best regular season records go on to compete in the WNBA playoffs in September. The WNBA finals occur in early October. The 2018 WNBA season is the 22nd season of the league with the Minnesota Lynx being the defending champions.
Women’s Basketball Players Deserve Their Own Attire
Just like other team sports, women’s basketball has a set uniform for taking the court. Players wear shorts, a jersey, athletic shoes, and athletic socks. When it comes to getting ready for the court – or cheering on your favorite women’s basketball player -- MadSportsStuff has the perfect performance socks for you.
At MadSportsStuff, we believe that players and fans should always be outfitted in top-notch gear. Cool basketball socks make players feel more confident and help fans feel like they’re a part of the game. It’s a win-win. We even have Custom Player ID Socks. Custom ID socks let your child select your own custom jersey number and colors to match your team.
Our women’s basketball socks are made using performance materials that keep fans and players at the top of their game. Our socks are moisture-wicking to keep legs dry, have ankle and arch compression to help reduce fatigue, and blister control for your comfort. Plus, our women’s and girls’ basketball socks are lightweight and breathable, and infused with antimicrobials to control bacteria and odor. We even offer a double-welt top, which means your socks won’t fall down just before you have to shoot a game-winning free throw.
We also have a huge selection of basketball crew socks at MadSportsStuff. These socks are perfect for women’s basketball, hockey, volleyball, soccer, and much more. The huge variety of designs to choose from are sure to be a hit with your favorite basketball player. On the court or off, a pair of comfortable crew socks let your legs breathe while protecting your feet and ankles.
Women’s basketball stars deserve their own gear, don’t you agree? In addition to performance basketball shoes and women’s basketball socks, a few other pieces of on-court attires make a difference. Quality jerseys and the right headbands and bandanas allow players to move freely and keep sweat out of their eyes.
Dress for Success with New Women’s Basketball Socks
Whether you are a middle school basketball player just starting out, a professional player for the WNBA, or a fan of any level of women’s basketball, MadSportsStuff has just the basketball socks you need. From crew socks to over the calf designs, there are multiple fit options for your comfort and performance needs.
When it comes to the personal style of your basketball gear, you can choose from so many crazy in-stock designs for your personal collection that you might have to make a list. Or, you can go ahead and create custom basketball socks for your entire team. The options are endless.
What are you waiting for? Contact our friendly customer service today or place your order online with our simple, stress-free ordering system. All of our socks are made with love in the USA using only the best materials and true-to-size styles that can be trusted.