Monday, February 17, 2014

Mama and Six-on-six Basketball


In my collection of memorabilia and other stuff there is a copy of a ragged and tattered photo which was taken in 1920 or 1921.  Mother was in eighth grade in Hartman, Colorado.  It is fortunate that the girl is clearly identified because, although she does look like Mama, I am not sure I could have picked her out of the group without the assistance.  Who the other people in the picture are I have no idea, and I suspect that there is no one yet alive who can identify any of them.  But I could be wrong.

Mama did not share an awfully lot of information about her younger years.  I do remember, though, that she clearly and specifically testified to her salvation.  She gave her heart to Jesus at the age of four and never wavered from the path He set for her.  She told me the story of the time her little dog saved her life by coming between her and a rattlesnake.  She lived to tell the story, but the doggie did not survive.

I was well into my adulthood before Mama shared with me the fact that she was on her high school girls' basketball team.  She played guard, and that was in the day when each team fielded six players, stationing three of them at each end of the court, guards not being allowed to move to the offensive end of the court.  Nor could the forwards move to the defensive end.  I suppose one had to be there.

What ever happened to six-on-six girls' basketball? you ask.  Well, no you didn't, but I'll tell you anyway.  In 1958 the Office of Civil Rights, that's right, the Federal Government, started looking at elimination of the game.  It was not finally phased out until 1995.  And who was the last to buckle under?  Oklahoma.  Iowa had given in in 1993.

Trust vanilla.  If a little memorial and tribute to one's mother can be turned into a political rant, vanilla is the guy who can do it.  You are welcome.

10 comments:

Vee said...

Well, well. More information that is new to me.

What was the connection between basketball and civil rights?

vanilla said...

Vee, think Title IX. The gender equity issue started building in the 50s, IX was passed in '72 and in '75 President Ford signed off on regulations for school and collegiate athletics. It seems that it took yet two more decades to whip everyone into compliance. Now, of course, we have women reporters in men's locker rooms, but that's another rabbit trail. It's all history.

Secondary Roads said...

Well done. Stand up and take a bow . . . On second thought you already did.

Shelly said...

I love that picture and your mom's memories. Wow- that basketball was very different from today's version.

Grace said...

I know nothing about basketball - so all of that is lost on me but I like the photo - a motley crew of kids and a male teacher? Wasn't that unusual for the times?

vanilla said...

Chuck, yeah, I sorta did, didn't I?

Shelly, it was a completely different game, and it was still the premier girls' sport in Iowa until 1993, Oklahoma 1995.

Grace, it is indeed a motley crew, but then random groups of kids often are just that. (I'm not sure the teacher is in the picture. Perhaps the guy is an overgrown kid; but no, male teachers were not that uncommon.)

Sharkbytes said...

Awesome! I also played 6 on 6. My senior year they added the roving player, one girl who could play the whole floor.

It was the one sport that I wasn't on the school team though, I was too short for a guard and didn't shoot well enough to be a forward, and besides, I thought standing in your own half court for half the game (or more if your team was winning and you were a guard) was just too boring.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, by the time I first saw girls' basketball (I was teaching then) GAA had already gone to 5-man, er, ah, five-woman basketball. When it became a recognized sport on the level with boys' sports, the performances became something much different from what we expected in the dark ages. Happy to have garnered a comment from someone who actually had the experience!

Lin said...

Don't know about the game, but the photo is GREAT. Such a treasure to have!

vanilla said...

Lin, I am truly blessed to be the holder of a number of family pix, circa 1890 - 1940. And some newer ones, too.