This website is made possible by generous donations from users like you. $18 helps keep JWA online for one day. Please consider making a gift before our June 30 fiscal year end. Thank you!

Close [x]

Show [+]

Senda Berenson

Drawn to sports by her recovery from childhood illness, Senda Berenson became known as the “Mother of Women’s Basketball.” Senda Berenson’s ill health meant she had to be tutored at home and later drop out of the Boston Conservatory of Music. In an attempt to regain her strength, she enrolled in the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, training to become a gymnastics coach. She began teaching at Smith College at twenty-three, and a year later discovered a new game called “Basket Ball” that she decided to adapt for women players, despite the fact that, at the time, women only played individual sports because team sports were thought too dangerous. She refereed the first official game of women’s basketball in 1893, with Smith freshmen battling against the sophomores. Within two years, there were hundreds of women’s basketball teams, and the success of the game opened the door for other women’s sports. Berenson developed the official rulebook for women’s college basketball, and many of the rules she created remained in force for the next seventy years.

0 Comments

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Senda Berenson, the founder of women’s basketball.
Date of Birth
Birthplace

Vilna VI
Lithuania

Date of Death
Occupations
Professor, Coach

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Senda Berenson." (Viewed on December 5, 2019) <https://qa.jwa.org/people/berenson-senda>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox