FIBA considers changing the women's game

FIBA considers changing the women's game

Basketball's governing body FIBA is looking to turn the heat up on the women's game by lowering the rims and introducing more revealing uniforms to the sport, it's been reported.

FIBA have just completed another successful women's world championship in the Czech Republic, where big crowds enjoyed a high standard of basketball, culminating in the United States reclaiming their crown with victory over the hosts in the final.

But the female game has often been criticised for not having the explosive dunking and above-the-rim action seen on the men's side.

It will take a number of years of testing before any changes are introduced, but FIBA are considering lowering the current 10-foot ring by 10-15cm to bring dunking into the women's game.

Some women can dunk the ball, but no female has ever dunked in international competition and American Lisa Leslie is the only player to dunk in the WNBA.

"We'll test it and we'll see what comes out of the test," FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann said in the Czech Republic, where a conference on the women's game has been taking place.

"The game as it is is a good game, but we have a large majority of women's basketball players that don't have that size and there's questions whether the game is as attractive as it really could be if you were able to play over the basket rather than under the basket.

"During the conference some coaches have said we should lower the basket, others think it's a crazy idea, but we want to check whether it will or won't improve the game.

"Will the game become more attractive for spectators and media and will we find new talents and more players that can play the game?

"We want to test it and see how different the game will be."

As well as a possible lower rim, FIBA are also looking into changing the timing of the women's world titles to separate them from the men's event to make it stand alone.

The uniforms are also being discussed.

Australia pioneered the first change from the stock standard singlet and shorts with their bodysuit, which they scrapped last year, while Belarus competed in a one-piece dress at these titles that resembled netball uniforms.

"We're not talking about going to beach volleyball," Baumann said.

"We're talking about keeping it comfortable, but making it more feminine.

"They are great athletes, but also beautiful athletes and there's no reason not to show it."

By James Dampney, AAP