6-Player Basketball: Louisiana-Lafayette Didn’t Invent It

During the final 21 seconds of overtime in last night’s Sun Belt Conference showdown between Louisiana-Lafayette and Western Kentucky, the Ragin’ Cajuns played with 6 players on the court. The 6-man Cajuns scored the game winning bucket with 3.6 seconds, though the play they ran didn’t take advantage of the power play.

Neither the officials nor the announcers noticed that there were six players wearing red jerseys during the game’s final sequence. Here’s the video:

 

Had the officials noticed Lafayette’s extra player, the penalty would have been a technical foul. In nearly all forms of basketball today, playing with six players is illegal. But there was a time when 6-player basketball was common.

In 1892, one year after Dr. James Naismith invented basketball, Senda Berenson adapted the game for women and girls. Originally the women’s game involved nine players on a side, but it eventually settled on 6, which remained a standard for several decades.

In 6-on-6 women’s basketball, each team had three offensive players—forwards—who spent the entire game on one half of the court and three defensive players—guards—who spent the entire game on the other half of the court. One team’s guards would defend the other team’s forwards. No players were allowed to cross the half-court line.

A 6-on-6 game during the 1959-60 season between Iowa's Nevada and Ballard high schools. (From the "I Played 6 on 6 basketball in Iowa" Facebook page)

Beginning in the 1950s, states abandoned the 6-player game in favor of the traditional rules. By the 1970s 6-on-6 basketball had disappeared, except in Oklahoma and Iowa. Girls in those states continued playing with 6 players into the 1990s (1993 for Iowa and 1995 for Oklahoma).

In Iowa 6-on-6 high school girls basketball was a phenomenon and was far more popular than the boys game. The 6-player game moved much faster than traditional basketball and scores of girls high school games were often in the triple digits. Union-Whitten High School’s Denise Long averaged 62.8 points in the 1967-68 season and once scored 111 points in a single game. (The San Francisco Warriors drafted Long in the 13th round of the 1969 NBA Draft, but commissioner Walter Kennedy voided the pick.)

The CBS Morning News did a segment on 6-on-6 basketball in Iowa back in 1988:

 

And here’s footage from Iowa’s 1976 state championship game:



About Josh Tinley

Josh Tinley writes the Away From The Action column at Midwest Sports Fans, covering all aspects of sport aside from what actually happens on the field, court, or track. Josh grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from the University of Evansville and Vanderbilt Divinity School. He is the author of Kneeling in the End Zone: Spiritual Lessons From the World of Sports and the managing editor of LinC, a weekly curriculum for teens that explores the intersection of faith and culture. Josh lives outside Nashville with his wife, Ashlee, and children, Meyer (7), Resha Kate (5), and Malachi (3). He will not allow himself to die before the Evansville Purple Aces make another trip to the NCAA Tournament. Follow him on Twitter @joshtinley or send him an e-mail.

Comments

  1. My mom played some mean 6-on-6 back in the day. Her season consisted of two games, both on the road.

  2. Este es un gran hotel, como mantener el buen work.please visita nuestra Clasificados gratis sitio : motor, viviendas , condominios, alquiler de casa, alquiler de la sala , compañeros de cuarto , alquileres a corto plazo , comercial , oficinas , almacenamiento , aparcamiento , casas para venta, venta de casas , terrenos en venta , coches, camiones , furgonetas , vehículos recreativos , piezas , Empleo animales de granja, mercado de los granjeros , noticias todos a la http://topdollarclassifieds.ca/

  3. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  4. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  5. C’est la question qui mérite d’être posée.

  6. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  7. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  8. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  9. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  10. Wow! Your information is great. I will tell about it to my family and any person that could be interested in this matter. Great work girls :D

  11. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  12. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  13. Tasse Lait says:

    This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

    https://hymenshopcom.wordpress.com/

  14. Wow! Your information is amazing <3 I will suggest it to my wife and anybody that could be enticed by this matter. Great work girls :)

  15. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  16. This is cool! This information is great :D I will suggest it to my daugther and anybody that could be attracted to this topic. Great work guys :)

  17. This is nice! This site is great :D I will tell about it to my friends and any person that could be attracted to this matter. Great work guys :)

  18. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  19. Incredible points. Solid arguments. Keep up the
    great spirit.

  20. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous
    blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

  21. Thanks a ton! This is definitely an impressive online site!.

  22. Hi there, I found your blog by way of Google at the same time as searching for a comparable matter, your website came up, it seems to be great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  23. I feel this is among the most vital information for me. And i am satisfied studying your article. But should statement on some general issues, The web site style is perfect, the articles is in point of fact nice :D. Good process, cheers.

  24. One thing I would like to comment on is that weightloss system fast may be possible by the right diet and exercise. Someone’s size not merely affects the look, but also the actual quality of life. Self-esteem, major depression, health risks, in addition to physical abilities are impacted in putting on weight. It is possible to do everything right but still gain. In such a circumstance, a medical problem may be the perpetrator. While a lot food instead of enough work out are usually guilty, common health concerns and trusted prescriptions could greatly enhance size. I am grateful for your post here.

  25. Just wanna comment on few general things, The website pattern is perfect, the written content is real excellent :D.

  26. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  27. I have figured out some significant things through your website post. One other subject I would like to talk about is that there are many games in the marketplace designed particularly for preschool age children. They consist of pattern identification, colors, family pets, and styles. These often focus on familiarization in lieu of memorization. This will keep little kids occupied without having the experience like they are learning. Thanks

  28. Thanks for helping me to attain new strategies about computer systems. I also have belief that one of the best ways to maintain your notebook computer in prime condition is by using a hard plastic-type material case, or shell, that matches over the top of one’s computer. These kind of protective gear tend to be model unique since they are manufactured to fit perfectly across the natural outer shell. You can buy these directly from the vendor, or via third party sources if they are available for your notebook computer, however don’t assume all laptop will have a spend on the market. Just as before, thanks for your recommendations.

  29. Thanks for every other great post. The place else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect manner of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such info.

  30. Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a bad decision outstanding post! .

Speak Your Mind