The College Game Migrates West
The first intercollegiate basketball game was played on February 9, 1895. The Minnesota School of Agriculture defeated Hamline College 9-3. Less than a year later, the first college game was played with the current five-men-on-the-court format. The University of Chicago beat the University of Iowa in Iowa City 15-12. In Naismith's native Canada, McGill University beat Queen's University 10-6 in December 1902 in the first Canadian intercollegiate game.
By 1901, colleges such as Dartmouth, the University of Chicago, Columbia, Minnesota, Utah, Yale, and the Naval Academy started having men's games. That was just the beginning; by 1906, so many colleges and universities were playing basketball that conferences started to form.
WORDS TO KNOW
A college conference is a collection of teams, usually from the same geographic areas. These conferences often grow so large that they are broken into divisions. For example, the Big 12 has northern and southern divisions and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) has eastern and western divisions.
Injuries occurred so frequently in the infancy of college basketball that President Theodore Roosevelt actually stepped in and suggested in 1910 that a governing body be formed to rule over the sport. This eventually evolved into the NCAA.
Women's basketball began in 1892 when Smith College hired physical education teacher Senda Berensen, who visited Dr. Naismith to learn more about the game of basketball. In 1893, Berensen had her Smith College freshmen and sophomores play each other in what is believed to be the first college women's game. She adapted the rules to better suit the women's game and published those in 1899. The first women's intercollegiate game was played in 1896. Stanford beat the University of California 2-1, and each team kept nine players at a time on the court.