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In 1891 Dr James Naismith was asked to develop a game that could be played indoors during the winter season After doing some research on such games as soccer football and field hockey he created what is to be called basketball From there basketball spread through the cities and even into high schools and colleges Sendra Berenson tailored the game and added rules to coincide with womens athletic and physical abilities It was believed that women could not play at the same pace or intensity that men could so they had their own set of rules But it was the women who had the first set of uniform rules for the game not the men Though the women had the first set of rules the men would have the first professional league Today women have taken the game to great lengths and refused to be ignored any longer From the time basketball was invented some one hundred years ago only recently there has become a professional league for women The idea for a Womens National Basketball Association WNBA was introduced to the NBA Board of Governors on April 24 1996 The NBA Board of Governors approved the idea and the WNBA was set to commence in June of 1997 The twenty-nine member teams of the National Basketball Association own the League They eventually decided that the WNBA season would be played in the summer when the sports calendar was less crowded With less than fifteen months until the first tip-off the league had many things to decide before hand They had to find a station or stations to broadcast the events One of the reasons they decided to make the season during the summer was because they could televise the games live and on prime time TV The league announced its broadcast partnerships with NBC ESPN and Lifetime even before a player was signed The first inugural season produced more than fifty million
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