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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

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In Sports Commentary

Women's basketball should be played with different rules than men's basketball because it is a different game entirely. (PHOTO: Hoopism.com)

Women's basketball has evolved, but not for the better


With a nod to Julie Andrews and "The Sound of Music," here are two of my favorite things:

Women.

Basketball.

And then there is women playing basketball, which doesn't even make the top 1,000 on the list of my favorite things. And please note that getting hit by a car but luckily only suffering a broken ankle does make my list.

The only reason I'm thinking about this is that I heard a pretty good rumor that two guys in Milwaukee are looking into the idea of having a WNBA team. They have already made preliminary forays into seeing what kind of dates and rent could be had at the Milwaukee Arena, which is now called something else but I forget what.

When I was doing my usual amount of thorough research for this column, I had to go online to find out when the Women's National Basketball Association (known colloquially as the WNBA) played. I wasn't sure if they played in the dead of winter or the heat of summer or somewhere in between. I think summer is the answer with a slight overlap into early fall.

I've thought a great deal about the differences between the men's game and the women's game, and why the women's game puts me to sleep.

Men play like they have jets attached to their shoes, women play like they have cement shoes.

Men play in the air, soaring above the fray, women play like a rugby scrum, unable to slide a piece of paper between their shoes and the floor.

Men slap five when they make a good play, women clap furiously.

Men push and shove and hit each other and dive into the stands, women say "ouch" and kind of wave at balls headed out of bounds.

Just so people know that I am not strictly opposed to women playing basketball, I want to make it clear that I'm only opposed to and bored by them trying to play men's basketball. I love softball and women's tennis and skiing and golf and the lingerie football league (Let's get one of these teams, because these girls can really play) and even women's hockey. It's just basketball.

And living up to my life goal of always trying to be nice and help people, let me offer an alternative. An alternative with lots of historic precedent as well.

Women should return to the way they used to play the game. The good old days.

There are six players to a team. Three forwards and three guards. The forwards play on one side of the floor and the guards on the other. The forwards are the offense and the guards are the defense. A foul is called if a player steps over the half-court line.

I am also in favor of making a few other rule changes, all of which have some historical precedent.

Women would be allowed only two dribbles. They would then have to pass or shoot.

A foul would be called if both feet of a player were off the floor at the same time.

If you touch an opposing player, it's a foul. If you touch an opposing player more than once, it's an automatic ejection.

And finally, I would add a mercy rule. If the game, which has only one period of 30 minutes, finds one team up by 20 points or more, the game is called and we all go home.

Talkbacks

tsparks | Dec. 25, 2011 at 8:36 p.m. (report)

I watched some 6-on-6 high school girls games when I went to college in Iowa. The girls who play 6-on-6 have a hard time learning how to play 5-on-5 when they get to college. At that point, they then realize that they can actually cross the half court line because they have to play on both ends of the court. The offensive players have to guard somebody and the defenders get a culture shock when they try to shoot the ball in the basket. I enjoyed watching 6-on-6.

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Muneraven | Dec. 17, 2011 at 11:01 a.m. (report)

What a strange and sad article! While female basketball players certainly don't play above the rim much, you clearly have not seen a women's ball game in decades. Go watch an archived WNBA Minnesota Lynx game from last year. Brunson rips rebounds down ferociously. Whalen plays point guard like a hockey player, taking charges and flying after the ball out-of-bounds, and Seimone Augustus has the prettiest shot in basketball. It is every person's right to not like any sport, but if you are going to publish the reasons for your dislike, you might want to know what you are talking about. I guess Milwaukee is really hard up for sportswriters . . .

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Olskoolgirlz | Dec. 14, 2011 at 11:50 p.m. (report)

I'd like to see this guy play one on one with Brittney Griner from Baylor! Then say women can't play a mans game! Jus sayin...

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Juviepedro | Dec. 14, 2011 at 10:41 p.m. (report)

Thoughtless, ignorant and just plain awful. If you don't like it, don't watch it. How about that for an idea? Shocking that in 2011 we would see such nonsense in print and be expected to take it seriously.

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dianeh | Dec. 14, 2011 at 7:38 p.m. (report)

Wow. While I am not surprised to see such ignorance from an old, white caveman, I'm stunned that the normally open-minded OnMilwaukee.com would print such chauvinism. Simply said you are antiquated and chauvinistic and apparently going to the wrong games. Just last night I went to a girls' high school game between two great teams that had the fans on their feet from start to finish. Men, women, boys, girls. I seriously thought all guys like you had retired by now.

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