Pat Summitt & Basketball Innovation

The world knows her as Pat Summitt, but in high school she was Pat Head. And when Pat was in high school, the rules of basketball for women were different than they are today.

For women then the game was a six-on-six sport. “Three guards from one team would defend three forwards from the other on each end. Only forwards could shoot since no one else was permitted to cross midcourt. Players were limited to two dribbles. Defenders were prohibited from stripping the ball from the shooters outside the lane.”

In the 1970’s, Pat who was now head coach at the University of Tennessee fought to change the rules to be equal to men’s basketball. The rules were changed and they were enforced.

As Pat said, “Quit? Quit? We keep score in life because it matters. It counts. Too many people opt out and never discover their own abilities, because they fear failure. They don’t understand commitment. When you learn to keep fighting in the face of potential failure, it gives you a larger skill set to do what you want to do.”