In 1921, Anna Hiss replaced Eunice Aden as the Director of Physical Training for Women. Steeped in the nationwide philosophies of womanhood and femininity related to physical activity, basketball was seen as unfeminine and dangerous. Hiss strove to develop and maintain a program that kept basketball simply a sport of enjoyment. This notion stemmed from the belief in moderate physical activity, a de-emphasis of competition among women, and the encouragement of inclusive participation over individual achievement. Most important was the establishment of a female-run space for women’s college athletics to protect athletes from the commercialization and professionalization that was common in the “male model” of sports.
Photo credit: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, CN 09047 from the Prints and Photographs Collections