Why We Wrote the Book
When you picked up this book, you may have wondered, "Why is this book about girls basketball only from 1891-1942? Girls are playing basketball now. Couldn´t they always play on teams in Minnesota?"
Let´s look at your first question, "Why focus on the years from 1891-1942?"
The game was created by James Naismith in 1891. A year later, Naismith´s friend, Max J. Exner, brought the game to Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. As the game spread, girls loved this new game of basket ball. Like wildfire, girls´ teams sprouted in virtually every community in the state of Minnesota.
In the mid-1920s, state and national groups came to believe that intense competition was filled with the potential for negative effects on young women. These groups took a strong position against interscholastic and intercollegiate competition as well as competition conducted by community and sports organizations, including the Olympics.
Information was sent to schools and organizations throughout the country that girls´ and women´s competitive teams should be replaced with a recreational program open to all girls and women. In high schools, this organization was commonly known as the Girls Athletic Association. In colleges, it was called the Women´s Athletic Association.
Minnesota schools began to comply with the recommendations. Teams were being dropped by the larger schools in the 1920s with the smaller schools holding onto their teams into the late 1930s and early 1940s. The girls swimming teams on the Iron Range were also gone after their state meet in 1942.
The purpose of this book is to share with you the rich history of the first era of girls basketball through the first-person stories of the women who played. And they have stories to tell!!
Why is it important to preserve the history of the first 50 years of girls sports in Minnesota and to know what caused its demise for several decades?
This answer is clear and simple: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."George Santayana