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Different rules [change]
Modern rules for women's basketball are much the same as those for men's basketball, with a few changes.
Basketball size [change]
The correct size for the ball in WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) rules is a minimum of 28.5 inches (72.4 cm) in circumference. This is 1.00 inch (2.54 cm) smaller than the NBA ball. From 2004, this size is used for all professional women's competitions around the world.
Court dimensions [change]
The three-point line (a line from which a ball thrown into the basket is worth three points) is 20 feet and 6.25 inches (6.25 m) from the middle of the basket in WNBA competition. Also, there is no block/charge arc under the basket.
Shot clock [change]
Game clock [change]
Levels of competition [change]
Women's basketball is very popular in colleges in North America. It is sponsored by athletics associations (groups that help organise sports). The most important competition is organised by a group called the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), and the winner is called the 'national champion'.
The 2007-08 national champion was the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers.
American Professional Leagues [change]
Women's Pro Basketball League [change]
The Women's Professional Basketball League (WBL) was a professional women's basketball league in the United States. The league played three seasons from the fall of 1978 to the spring of 1981. The league is said to be the first American professional women's basketball league.
Women's Basketball Association [change]
The Women's Basketball Association (WBA) was a professional women's basketball league in the United States. The league played three seasons from the summer of 1993 to the summer of 1995. The league is said to be the first American professional women's basketball league to be played in Summer.
American Basketball League [change]
The American Basketball League was started in 1996 because the Olympics made people more interested in basketball. The league played two full seasons (1996-97 and 1997-98) and started a third (1998-99) before it finished in 1998.
Women's National Basketball Association [change]
The WNBA is a group who organise professional basketball games for women. It is like the NBA (National Basketball Association), but for women. It was started in 1996.