Instead of playing the game of basketball originally created by James Naismith, Sandra Berenson slightly altered the rules for physical fitness in her gym classes at Smith College in 1892. She changed the rules for the game to encourage teamwork and cooperation instead of winning the game.
Berenson broke the court into three zones, with nine players on each team. Each zone would have three players in it. No player could leave her zone, and could only dribble the ball three times and hold it three seconds before passing it.
The first collegiate women’s basketball game was played at Smith College on March 21, 1893. The doors were locked so that only women were allowed entrance. In the first basketball games, baskets were only worth one point. In the game, the class of 1896 beat the class of 1895 five to four.
By the year 1896 women’s basketball had spread to many colleges and universities across the United States, and in April of 1896, the first intercollegiate game was played between Stanford and Berkley. Stanford won the game two to one.