Posted: September 9th, 2022
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In chapter 2, Schultz discusses the history of women’s sport, including the introduction of basketball for girls and women. She writes:
In 1892, one year after Naismith invented basketball, Senda Berenson introduced the sport at Smith College. Basketball quickly became popular and spread throughout the country’s colleges, high schools, Young Women’s Christian Associations (YWCAs), and settlement homes. At the first official women’s intercollegiate basketball game in 1896 (University of California vs. Stanford University), physical educators worried about “rough and vicious” play.6 Consequently, leaders adapted the game for girls and women, confining players’ movement to designated zones and limiting, if not eliminating, physical contact between competitors. (pp 14-15).
The rest of the chapter discusses how there were paradoxical arguments for the inclusion of sport for girls and women. Some argued that it benefited women and girls in much the same way sports provided important lessons for boys and men. Others argued that it hurt women in multiple ways.
Task: After completing the Unit 2 readings, examine a source from the 1916-1917 Basket Ball Guide for Women. The Spalding company issued these guides each year with updated rules for the sport (remember, the sport had only been invented a few decades before this!) and short articles from practitioners in physical education.
This source, titled “Basket Ball Upon the Playground” was written by Edward B. De Groot, who was an official with the Playground Association of Chicago. In the essay he discusses how women and girls should play basketball outside at playgrounds, rather than in a gymnasium like boys and men.
After reading this source, write 150-200 words reflecting on the following:
What benefits for girls and women does De Groot see in basketball (or sport in general)?
What negatives for girls and women does De Groot see in basketball (or sport in general)?
What’s an example where De Groot says something that you don’t think is true today?
***Remember, this was written by someone over 100 years ago! Pay close attention to how ideas and thoughts about girls and women in sport have changed.***
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