1896: Bloomers were introduced as a playing uniform at Sophie Newcomb College.
Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley played the first women’s intercollegiate game. Stanford won, 2-1. Women guarded the windows and doors to keep men from watching.
1899: Stanford banned women’s basketball from intercollegiate competition, as did the University of California.
1908: Amateur Athletic Union took the position that women or girls should not play basketball in public.
1914: The American Olympic Committee declared its opposition to women taking part in Olympic competition.
1920s: Companies throughout the country sponsored teams for their workers — including female leagues.
Industrial leagues — teams sponsored by companies for their workers — were established in many parts of the country.
1922: Jeux Olympiques Féminines held an all-women’s sports competition for sports excluded from the Olympics. Basketball was among the offerings.
1924: Olympics included women’s basketball as an exhibition event.
International Women’s Sports Federation founded, hosted a women’s event paralleling the Olympics, including basketball.
1926: AAU held first national tournament for women’s basketball with six teams participating.
1940s: During World War II, relocation centers for Japanese-Americans included regularly scheduled women’s basketball games.
1953: International competition in women’s basketball was reorganized.
1955: The first Pan-American Games included women’s basketball; USA won the gold medal.
1972: Title IX enacted, requiring federally-funded schools to fund women’s sports equitably, including teams, scholarships, recruitment, and media coverage.
1973: College scholarships offered to female athletes for the first time.
1976: Women’s basketball became an Olympic sport. The Soviet team won the gold; USA won the silver.
1980: Ladies Professional Basketball Association founded with six teams; played for less than a month before failing.
1986: National Women’s Basketball Association founded; folded the same season.
1993: Women’s Basketball Association founded; failed two years later.
1996: NBA established the WNBA with eight teams; Sheryl Swoopes was the first player signed by the WNBA.
1999: Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame opened with 25 inductees.