"It's something to do with your arms besides reach into the cupboards," says founder Barb McPherson, 62, who organized the first game as a one-time fund-raiser. The inaugural game of the Granny Basketball League was last August in Lansing, Iowa. Since then seniors have been bouncing balls in their bloomers, all over the state.
"It's very energizing. The instant you're on the court, your brain thinks, 'I'm 16. I can shoot,'" says Linda Toerper, 63, coach for the Cedar Rapids Sizzlers in the American Profile article. "It's like being a kid again."
The stands are filled with cheering grandchildren who sometimes question the politeness of the Granny League. "We don't tend to apologize after we foul," says 15-year-old Devin Keenan who watches his grandmother, Betty Vieman. "Or hug each other," his mother adds.
That's not the only difference. The women play in 1920's era bloomers! They don't mind, though. It's all in the spirit of fun and authenticity.
They did have to add a rule, though: Players must be at least 50 years old and able "to sustain moderate physical activity for several minutes without collapsing." Sounds like the perfect sport for WOOFers!
"We're expecting this to sweep the country," says McPherson, who is writing a rule book for granny basketball. She calls it The Joy of Six.
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