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I was asked this evening by a friend why girls basketball was dropped by the KHSAA in 1932. When searching for the answer I came across the KHSAA Board of Control minutes from November 1, 1932:


It was done with a simple 70-45 vote at the annual meeting to remove from the By-Laws the statement "and a girls" tournament, meaning there would be no further district, regional, or state tournaments for girls. The motion was offered by Walter "Bedie" Thomason, coach of Georgetown High from 1917-1933 and was passed "over the almost tearful protests of Mrs. Frank D. Peterson, coach of the Woodburn Yellow Jackets, who won the girls' championship last season and this year." (Courier-Journal, April 14, 1932).

That led me down an internet rabbit hole of articles from 1974 when girls basketball was reinstated. I then came across this letter to the editor of the Courier-Journal written by Ray Vencill, the boys basketball coach at Elizabethtown High School. Mr. Vencill was no slouch as a coach, compiling a 167-51 record and three regional championships during his eight years (1971-1978) at command of the Panthers.

He was, however, absolutely not feeling the idea of the state legislature requiring schools to offer girls basketball. In fact, he uses many of the same arguments that we still see today when it comes to providing opportunities for minority groups. His argument that adding girls basketball would make Kentucky's basketball like Tennessee's (overall very poor) made me laugh. His description of Kentucky as being home to fast horses and fine looking women was a touch cringe-worthy and came right out of the 70s.

The biggest thing to me was how far women's basketball has come in response to statements like that of Mr. Vencill. While his name is signed, he certainly wasn't the only one who felt that way. For over forty years there had been no sponsored championship for girls basketball (although some did still field teams and play games). Now over forty years have passed and the women's game is producing higher quality players and teams every season. My how times have changed.

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