Copyright Granny Basketball League 2005-2017
A gentle game for women of a certain age.
A Brief History of
Granny Basketball started rather accidentally. A few years ago my father, who was a girls' basketball coach in Iowa in the 40s and 50s, was writing his memoirs and I was helping. He described the first girls’ game he saw in Bondurant, IA in 1920, including the costumes the girls wore, the three courts and the other rather prissy rules they had to follow back then.
Because I was looking for a way to exercise, it finally occurred to me that even at my age, I could play those old rules. So a bunch of my friends got together in 2005 to put on an exhibition game in Lansing, IA to raise money to preserve an old historic building there. Some other towns in the area heard about it and wanted to play, too. So we ended up with 4 teams and decided to have a tournament instead of just an exhibition game. And so, because I didn't get to play at State in my younger years, I decided to call it the Granny Basketball State tournament. (Lansing beat Waterville 23-13). Everyone thought it was so much fun and didn't want to stop playing, so we kept on practicing. More and more towns joined in as media coverage increased.
In addition to League play, organizations invite us to play against their town teams to help raise money for various projects. We play men, women, young, old—whatever—but they have to play by our rules. So far, we have raised upwards of $200,000 for charities, booster clubs, leukemia victims, etc.
There are now more than 300 players on 26 teams in 8 states:13 teams in Iowa, 3 each in Missouri and Kansas, 2 each in Minnesota and Texas, and 1 each in Louisiana, Virginia, and Wisconsin. We’ve held an Iowa state tournament annually since 2005–first in Lansing and then in West Des Moines, which is sponsored by the Iowa Senior Games. Our first National Tournament was held in Minneapolis in 2008; several years in Branson, MO; Norman, OK in 2014; and Nashville, TN in 2015 and 2016.
If you are interested in playing, please join the fun! In addition to players, we also need referees, coaches and scorekeepers. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
2005 State Champs
Defeated Waterville, 23-13
Back in the day…