The WNBA and women’s college basketball has searched for new ways to make the game of women’s basketball more exciting and to bring new fans to the sport. The problem with the game is the debate on whether women’s basketball should lower their rims. Many fans of both men and women’s basketball have wanted the women’s game to increase their dunking in order to make the games more exciting and lowering the rims would do that.
Many well respected figures in women’s basketball has spoken out on the conflict and seem to be for lowering the rims which would change the game almost completely. Elena Delle Donne, forward for the Washington Mystics said, “ I think it would bring a whole different aspect to the game and bring viewership as well and the athleticism of our women.”
Geno Auriemma, longtime coach for the UConn Huskies women’s basketball team has supported the idea of lowering the rims for many years and was extremely vocal about it. “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 a chance for the same kind of success at the net (as the men).”
While there are many women’s basketball players that are for the lowering of the rims, there are many that want nothing to do with it. Diana Taurasi, former UConn alumni and present Phoenix Mercury guard, has spoken out against it saying, “Might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen,” meaning it would just be moving backward instead of forward in our society.
Although it might bring more viewership and a more fast paced game, with the rims being lowered, players would have to adjust their shooting form. Also, with the lowering of the rims, it would most likely take away from different skills players have because they’re not always dunking but are still finding different ways of getting to the rim.
The reason why fans love the NBA is because of the dunking and for the women’s game to change to be more like the men’s league, takes away from their game.
Many fans of the NBA complain about women’s basketball being too slow paced and boring only because it’s not what the men do.
They are constantly comparing the women’s game to the men’s which encourages the players and coaches to wanting the rim height to change. The only real motivation to making the rim shorter is for more views but with the 36 percent increase in viewership this season in the WNBA, there is no need to change something that isn’t broken.
There is a new appreciation of women’s basketball from sports fans within the past few years. Sports fans appreciate the skill set of the athletes and how different it is from the NBA. Women’s basketball may not have the dunking or the height of the NBA but they still find a way to get to the rim.