Posted October 23, 2012

Geno Auriemma wants lower rim to improve women’s basketball

NCAAB

UConn coach Geno Auriemma thinks a lower rim would improve women’s college hoops, according to the Hartford Courant:

“What makes fans not want to watch women’s basketball is that some of the players can’t shoot and they miss layups and that forces the game to slow down,” he said. “How do help improve that? Lower the rim…. Let’s lower the rim seven inches; let’s say 7’2″ inches to honor Title IX [instituted in 1972]. If you lower it, the average fan likely wouldn’t even notice it.”

Auriemma doesn’t think his idea would be well-supported by other coaches because of doubts that the level of athleticism would be able to keep up with a faster game. But he made his argument using analogies to volleyball and softball:

“Do you think the average fan knows that the net is lower in women’s volleyball than men’s volleyball? It’s about seven inches shorter so the women have the chance for the same kind of success at the net.”

“Why is softball played on a different field than baseball?” Auriemma said. “Why don’t they ask those women to play with 90-foot base paths?”

Reactions to the idea were mixed:

Auriemma has been the head coach for the Huskies for 27 years (804-129 overall, 388-59 conference). He has led the team to 13 Final Fours and won seven national championships.


11 comments
tillzen
tillzen

Geno is too far inside the Kool Aide factory to know the truth. Women's basketball is a pleasant diversion and quite entertaining. It has every right to exist but it can not be compared to the men's game in any way shape or form. The game is built on speed, quickness and hang time. Women have just enough less of each of these to make their game a pale comparison. I don't deny their chance to try or their guts in the attempt but let's not call it basketball anymore than a man implanted with a baby is giving birth. Lower the basket, put springs in the shoes and give every woman who plays a trophy but when you compare their game to the men's you wind up looking deluded. 

joestrummerlives
joestrummerlives

Here's the problem:

First of all, everybody knows that there are benefits to playing sports, for all people, male and female. The physical, mental, social, and psychological stimulation is very healthy in so many ways, that all people should play sports, or at least engage in physical activity, and should feel good while doing it. That said, I happen to know more than a few women who resent Title IX on the simple premise that it equates a woman's value to how well she can perform a TRADITIONALLY male activity. As far as these women are concerned (and I agree with them, at least in part) there really ARE differences in the types of things that men are inherently good at and the types of things that women are inherently good at. Yet, in our society, we overwhelmingly value whatever it is that men commonly do well over what women commonly do well, be it in athletics, in business, the arts, or in any other facet of our culture. What that does is it forces society to make provisions for women to be able to successfully participate in the "male" realm, while it de-emphasizes the very important functions that women, for millions of years mind you, have traditionally played. All of this casts women as second-class citizens even more so, despite the efforts to make things "equal", because it is still equality on male terms.

So, you lower the rims in women's basketball so it can more closely resemble the men's game, with more exciting play at the basket. Then what? It's still not the same game. The common observer will still prefer men's basketball to women's basketball, and why not? When sports are played at a very high level, men are generally better at them, and there is nothing wrong with that being the case. Instead of belittling women in sports by giving them the opportunity to play the game like men, why don't we celebrate the women's game for what it is? After all, if the average man is 5'9", then the majority of men who play recreational basketball play in a way that more closely resembles women's college basketball or WNBA, than it does the NBA. Most men can't dunk anyway, and any Wednesday night game at the local Y, probably features more ball movement, picks, and perimeter play, than it does iso's, fastbreaks, and dunks. Personally, I think that women's basketball emphasizes certain basic fundamentals that a recreational player needs to develop in order to be competent, much more than the astounding feats of athleticism that men's basketball offers. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the women have to negotiate a 10-ft rim.

So, why not enjoy women's basketball for what it is, rather than adapt it again to be something that it is not? If an official women's rim is lower than a men's rim, will there be lower rims at gyms and schoolyards across the country as well? It is time that we face certain facts: One fact, is that sports is healthy, whether it be basketball, aerobics, weight-lifting, or hiking, for example, for men and women alike. That said, while a good women's tennis match might be just as exciting as a men's match, men- based on intrinsic physical skill sets -are generally better than women at sports. Still, there is great value in women's sports, in terms of playing and observing, but it belittles women to always have to evolve how they play sports in order to make it more comparable to the ways in which men play sports. On a final note, why not embrace women for the skills, talents, and abilities that are more inherent to THEM? These are the things that have helped advance civilization just as much as the traditional men's have, and that goes for sports as well.

LarryJackson
LarryJackson

No.  Raise the MEN'S hoops.  The game was never meant to be a dunk-fest.  Improve men's skills by taking the easy dunk out of the game.   The women's game is as it should be, so that the tallest talent doesn't dominate simply because of height.

Whalers25
Whalers25

Typo!!! That's not what the Hartford Courant quoted Geno as saying regarding the lowering the rim. Here's the CORRECT quote: "Let's say the average men's player is 6-5 and the average woman is 5-11," Auriemma said. "Let's lower the rim seven inches; let's say 7.2 inches to honor Title IX [instituted in 1972]. If you lower it, the average fan likely wouldn't even notice it."

laclipperzfan
laclipperzfan

never understood why they played with 10 foot rims.  lower it to about 7'5, you can't tell me it wouldn't be a better product with women alleyooping and dunking over each other violently.  it made the men's game popular.  

icurheinie
icurheinie

A truly idiotic idea that would cost millions and take up way too much court space at our schools.  And 7'2"?????  That's retarded.  5' tall little league BB players play on a 10' rim, so can a 6' woman.  I honestly can't say enough bad things about it.  How did the story even get printed?

mefoster86
mefoster86

He's got a point about volleyball, softball, etc. In the US men are on average 1.09 times taller than women. To make the nets a similar proportion, the woman's hoop could be lowered to 9'2". I'm not sure where Gene gets 7'2", that would just be ridiculous.

jlcnwpaalf
jlcnwpaalf

then Baylor's center can run circles around all players. she still sounds like a guy

WillardJohnson
WillardJohnson

Women's hoops walks on very thin ice as it is for pretty much one reason. These are not the best athletes in the world playing this game. You lower the rim, you simply take a very heavy step to confirm that.

shodges101
shodges101

Why not just install the hoop directly into the floor, and the women could drop the ball into it? Or would that be too hard as well? Or, just don't use a basketball. We could all appreciate the fundamentals and teamwork, without stressing them out by keeping score or forcing them to show athleticism - and save money in the process!!

aaronfarber9
aaronfarber9

I think he's absolutely right...almost every other sport hat involves strength or jumping--golf, volleyball, softball has a different field size for women.  I think it would make women's bball a lot more entertaining.  And frankly, most women (outside of actual female players) don't really have the strength to shoot the ball from say, three point range.  Unfortunately, I think it'll be ignored.