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Explain the Game – Basquette

Explain the Game – Basquette

Have you ever heard of basquette? The last official game was played 25 years ago, but it was once a very popular girls’ sport in Iowa and Oklahoma. It’s a different form of basketball, where there are six players on the court per team, instead of five.

At the highest point of the popularity of  6-on-6, about 700 schools in Iowa had a team and about 70% of all girls where playing basketball. Earlier, the Iowa Schools Athletic Boards had prioritised sports for girls, and this was the way girls could still get a chance to play a sport. Now, years later, even now that girls are allowed to play every sport they want, basquette should still be remembered as giving girls a chance to play a sport. The final, official, 6-on-6 state championship was held in 1993.

In Basquette, a team consists of three guards and three forwards. But, contrary to five on five basketball, the guards are only allowed to defend and forwards are (almost) only allowed to play offense. Both groups have to always stay on their half of the court. Furthermore, the players are only allowed to dribble twice before having to shoot or pass the ball. This made passing the most important skill to have on the court. If a forward misses a shot, she is allowed to defend until the middle line. Nowadays, you almost can’t imagine a player wasn’t allowed to cross the half court, only dribble twice or only were allowed to play defense.

There is still one league that uses the old 6-on-6 rules: the Granny League. This league was founded in 2005 and they still play with the 1920 rules and in 1920 uniforms.

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