We’re not breaking any news here when we say that interest in watching women’s college basketball isn’t exactly on an uptick. And if you ask most sports fans you’ll hear the same reasons: the game is too slow; the game isn’t exciting and on and on and on.
As for remedies to these issues, there aren’t many. The women’s game is played below the rim while the men’s game is played above it. And if you ask fans which one they would rather see, most would choose the latter.
But UConn coach Geno Auriemma believes he has a remedy for these issues. And it involves lowering the rims in the women’s game by 7.2 inches.
“What makes fans not want to watch women’s basketball is that some of the players can’t shoot and they miss layups and that forces the game to slow down,” he said.
“How do help improve that? Lower the rim [from 10 feet]. Do you think the average fan knows that the net is lower in women’s volleyball than men’s volleyball? It’s about seven inches shorter so the women have the chance for the same kind of success at the net [as the men].”
“Let’s say the average men’s player is 6-5 and the average woman is 5-11,” Auriemma said. “Let’s lower the rim seven inches; let’s say 7.2 inches to honor Title IX [instituted in 1972]. If you lower it, the average fan likely wouldn’t even notice it.
“Now there would be fewer missed layups because the players are actually at the rim [when they shoot]. Shooting percentages go up. There would be more tip-ins.
Auriemma goes on to say that he will propose this to rule committee this spring to allow teams to scrimmage each other with the lower rims just to “see what happen.” And though, it may be a relatively good idea, you know the NCAA won’t go for it.