Print and Go Back Commentary

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Lower the rim? Readers respond

By espnW

UConn coach Geno Auriemma believes one of the reasons women's basketball isn't growing in popularity is a lack of offensive efficiency. His solution? Lower the rim by about seven inches, which would increase shooting percentages and make the game more enjoyable. Our readers and Facebook fans weighed in on the issue.

• Kevin Vela, Texas State University-San Marcos
This was a ridiculously obvious solution 10 years ago, what is taking so long?

• Jessica Foote, espnW Facebook fan
My problem is that basketball is one of those sports girls can play anywhere just like the guys. If there is a hoop they can play. I they lower the rim the will eliminate that and then they would have to find a hoop that is their height out at parks and gyms. The problem is that obviously these don't exist right now and we would be hard pressed to have enough put in all over the country. I just don't think it's a good idea to lower the rim but is be fine with them using the guys ball.

• James Fontes, Sacramento, Calif.
I like it, I wish the WNBA was more exciting and leaving the game the same isn't working. Let's mix it up.

• Terese Ahrens, espnW Facebook fan
I disagree and think it would be silly. The women's game has done nothing but improve and grow and this would take us back 30-40 yrs. Why not just bring back the rule of dribble once and have to pass? I personally don't see how this would make the game more popular.

• Lu Dorfman, Pennsylvania State University-University Park
What a horrible idea for many reasons. On the practical side, should each family that erects a pole on their driveway erect two? One at 10 feet, one at 9 foot 2 inches? What about middle schools and high schools -- two sets of baskets at different heights? The men's game has progressed over decades from being a game on the floor (1950s and before), to a game in the air (1950s to 1980s) to a game above the rim. The women are in transition from the floor to the air. Let it continue to progress at its own natural pace and level out wherever it will.

• Marcus Jiles, espnW Facebook fan
Completely agree with Geno. Selling people on the game itself isn't enough. Dunks and less misses at the rim would put this league on fire. Don't be old baseball guy that doesn't want to progress his sport. It couldnt hurt to try.

• Robert Lusk, University of Arkansas
As a father of a former high school player who could have gone to college (except for 4 knee surgeries) I have found myself favoring the women's game as you see more fundamentals in use and the plays on offense actually being run and picks made, etc. the game needs to be marketed more and more former players brought in to comment on it.

• Mia Jung, espnW Facebook fan
I think they should raise the rims in men's basketball to 11 feet and leave women's where they are.

• Patrick J. McMillen, Ball State University
The problem isn't the height of the rim it is the amount of time the players spend on the floor. The women actually shoot better than some men and the efficiency is pretty good but the undisciplined play in between the scoring is what can be a turnoff. I would say that there are very good players but when you are watching most of the games, you do see too much fumbling around for the ball on the floor. There isn't much jump-up and grab and hold rebounds, dribble drive and score without a fair bit of fumbling the ball; body control seems to be less for the women's game than the men's. This has nothing to do with the height of the rim.

• Denise Lobelle, espnW Facebook fan
No way. I've only started watching Women's hoops heavily last year and have been immersing myself more. I enjoy it and watched a ton of March madness last year. I wouldn't have changed anything about it! The reason I hate the NBA is because it isn't even hard for players to score. If you imagine a 6-7 foot person, their arm span being about 3 feet, and their height on a jump? Come on, they well reach 10 feet, its not even a challenge. All they do is dunk, and it gets boring. I love that the women have to actually maneuver instead of just jump over everyone and simply stick their hand inside a net.

• Wil Massey, Brookings, S.D.
I say lower the womens net to at least 9'6" and while you're at it raise the mens to at least 10'6". These changes would be so great for both games. The women's inferiority argument is weak. If womens basketball is ever gonna get popular it needs more above the rim play. The men's game on the other hand could use a little less perhaps.

• Chris Newsome, social media & advertising director at Bodford Construction Inc.
I feel that this is a good idea, defensive games in football are ok to watch. But not in basketball, men's or women's, lowering the hoop would help to make the women's game more exciting. It would even increase the likely for dunks, which is one of the most exciting plays in the game. I mean who wouldn't want to see girls slamming it down the rim?

Editor's note: All comments appear exactly as they were written.