Courtesy of Women's Basketball Hall of FameThe official rules for women's basketball were released in 1901.
A year after James Naismith invented basketball in 1891 -- and 121 years ago today -- the rules of "Basket Ball" were first published. In 1901, the mother of women's basketball, Senda Berenson, adapted those rules to bring the men's game to women, creating the Spalding "Official" Rulebook. In Berenson's game, each team had nine players on the court. The court was equally divided into three sections and three players had to stay in each area at all times. The rules also forbade “snatching” the ball, holding it for more than three seconds and dribbling more than three times. Over the decades, the rules continually evolved, but it wasn't until 1971 that the rules for both genders began to more closely align. Now the only difference at all levels is that women play with a smaller ball.