For most of the twentieth century, Iowa was widely known for its devotion to a unique form of girls’ and women’s sport known as 6-on-6 basketball. Generations of athletes and fans made 6-on-6 the living heart of their communities. Offering a premier sporting event, girls’ games often surpassed the turnout at boys’ contests and legendary half-court players attracted national attention. As sports writer Heywood Hale Broun once recounted, the Iowa Girls’ State Basketball Tournament was

" at its best; full of joy and zest and excitement and a kind of nobility."

To reflect on this quintessentially Iowan sport, this exhibition draws upon the personal stories of 6-on-6 basketball from various Iowa Women’s Archives collections. It also places the sport’s history in context by providing an overview of major developments in girls' and women's sport in Iowa and the U.S. This exhibition is meant not only to inform, but also to inspire the sharing of memories, for it takes to heart the Archives’ motto – Every woman has a story. Every girl has a voice.

Forest City High School girls’ basketball team, 1918

Forest City High School girls’ basketball team, 1918.