A few dozen women will be playing Iowa’s original six-on-six style of basketball at the end of the month in Spencer. Organizers of the “Granny Basketball Tournament” — a fundraiser for the Clay County Heritage Center in Spencer — say the games will be based on rules from the 1920s
“We wanted to have an activity that showcased our exhibit for this year at Clay County Heritage which is called ‘The Starting Six’ and it’s a tribute to women’s six-on-six basketball in the county and in Iowa as a whole,” says Stephanie Horsley, director of Clay County Heritage.
Thirty members of the “Granny Basketball League” will be at the Spencer High School Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon, April 28 to give a live illustration of six-on-six basketball. That evening, a team of local players will play the traveling squad in a game that starts at 6:30 p.m.
“We have almost 50 ladies signed up,” Horsley says. “Not all of them will play, so during the exhibition game’s halftime there will be a parade of players and so any gal that has signed up to participate, they will parade in with their hometown team and get recognized.”
Money raised by the event will support the Clay County Heritage Center that opened in Spencer nearly six years ago. The Granny Basketball League has 30 teams that play in Iowa and eight other states. The group’s goal is to help preserve the history of original six-on-six basketball. The rules in the 1920s divided the court into three sections and players were only allowed in the section to which they were assigned. The two-dribble rule is also enforced.
The last official six-on-six game for Iowa high school students was the 1993 state championship game between Hubbard-Radcliffe and Atlantic.
(Reporting by Matt McWilliams, KICD, Spencer)