Basketball Observations

If you’re like me, you watched a lot of basketball in March. I love March Madness. I had intended to write this during all of the madness but didn’t get to it. I’ll explain at the end of this post.

Living in Iowa, however, has meant continuous Caitlin Clark news. Maybe that’s true everywhere since she seems to be everywhere. I’m not complaining as I love watching her play. But it’s become a highlight on the news almost every day.

Also being a University of Iowa alum, I am so excited for my school. The women outdid the men this year in excitement as well as attendance.

I have always been a basketball fan. I even had a short career of my own, when Iowa girls played six on six. If you want more information about this type of basketball, read this.

Mostly, I followed the Iowa men once I got to college. But after I graduated from college and was no longer close to Iowa City, I started following the Drake women’s team. At that time, they were more fun to watch than the men’s team. We had season tickets up until the pandemic.

These t-shirts from Raygun say it all.

These last couple of years, especially as I started watching more women’s basketball on TV, I observed a few things. Let me share those with you.

Men and Women Observations


Five years ago, I published a post about the length of basketball shorts. I was beginning to notice they were moving away from the skirt-like shorts to a more “normal” length. This post provides you with some background on how those shorts came to be.

Today, you are definitely seeing short shorts. I’m happy about that because I never could understand how anyone played in shorts that could get tangled up in your legs.

Here’s an example of the shorter shorts. I had to pick Caitlin, of course.

Picture from Xavier Newswire

Another new trend is the one-legged tights. I first noticed this last year. And while it’s mostly the thing for women, I have seen a few men sporting the look as well. What’s the deal with that?

Photo from Hawkeyes Wire on USA Today


Does anyone besides me think traveling is happening all the time without being called? This is true for both men and women. I’m always surprised when it’s actually called and then I question if it was a correct call. It seems like they miss the obvious calls but catch something I don’t see.

I always thought if you fell to the floor and your feet went up, that was traveling. Not anymore. It happens ALL THE TIME.

Mostly, I see it when players are driving to the basket. I know they’re taking one or even two extra steps. There’s a lot of movement under the basket but I don’t think the refs are calling everything they should.

Rougher play

Does it seem like there are more players on the floor and/or with injuries these days? I especially notice a change in women’s basketball. You have to be pretty tough to survive the taller and stronger players.

In a way, I’m glad to see the women playing more like the men. It makes the game more exciting. But for both men and women, the number of injuries has to be alarming.

I found information that clearly states injuries are up in the NBA. I have to believe it’s true at the college level as well. The pace of the game is faster, requiring more and quicker changes in direction. This is a leading cause of injuries, mostly knees, ankles, and feet.

I’m all in favor of “letting them play”, but there are so many reviews for flagrant fouls. I don’t know if that’s because there are more flagrant fouls or if the refs are just too worried they’ll make a wrong call, so they default to an official review. It seems like we see a lot of bloody noses anymore. And a lot of unnecessary reviews that slow down the game.


You see some very crazy hairdos these days. I think the men’s are the craziest. Some styles are high, some are puffy, and some are full of braids or beads. And some are just long. At the risk of sounding like an old person, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a player is male or female.

Women’s hairstyles tend towards lots of braids. Not just a braided ponytail but all kinds of braids throughout their hair. They’re actually kind of cute and probably keep the hair out of their eyes. I have to wonder, though, if it’s tough playing against someone who has a lot of freely flowing long and thick hair.

Women Observations

This is a biggie for me. What’s with the false eyelashes? And the fake nails?

I understand wanting to look more feminine and show off your style, but is that appropriate when playing basketball? And basketball isn’t the only sport where you see this. A lot of female track athletes wear both fake eyelashes and nails.

It just doesn’t seem practical to me. Like the long, baggy shorts, why wear something that could negatively affect how you play? Is it more important to look a certain way instead of dressing for a very physical sport? I break my nails making the bed, so how do they keep them intact during a game? Do they ever become a weapon?

I couldn’t wear those eyelashes. I have enough trouble with my own lashes rubbing against my glasses. I suppose that’s why you only see them on people who don’t wear glasses.

You may or may not agree with my observations. Let me know if there are other things you’ve observed. Hopefully, you can remember back to March!!

What’s next?

It always seems like there’s something in my life that keeps me from blogging. Now, it’s a new house!! So stay tuned for more information about that process.

8 thoughts on “Basketball Observations”

  1. Thanks for resending as I hadn’t received it earlier. Interesting observations. I’m not one who watches sports of any kind but, between my son and Keith Murphy’s posts (mostly surrounding Caitlin), I learned a lot.
    I hadn’t read anything about fake nails/lashes. That’s crazy to me. It seems those would affect the player’s game!

    1. If most of your focus was on Caitlin, then I can see why you didn’t know about the eyelashes. I’m starting to notice more of the fake eyelashes in general. There’s a young woman at my bank with them and I always wonder why she likes them. I guess I’m showing my age!! Thanks, Trudy!

  2. Thank you for reposting, as I did not get the first one. I only enjoy the women’s games, and now I turn off my phone when I’m watching March Madness. Too many people were interrupting me. I read an article somewhere theorizing that many players had Covid and the injuries have increased since then. Could be related; maybe not. I hate the rough play. It makes me wonder when the “good” got taken out of Good Sportsmanship. The hairdos and eyelashes look ridiculous. If the players want attention, then they should show us how well they can play basketball!

    1. Thanks, Vicki. I agree that the focus should be on the basketball, not how they look. In my mind, it takes away from their skill when they look ridiculous. Men and women both.

  3. Hi Linda — thanks for resending, as you suspected didn’t get it the first time.

    Ha! I am with you on the men’s hair — but my daughter calls me old fashioned stating that it’s a double standard — ie you wouldn’t say anything if it was a women. But honestly, some you can’t see around — whether it’s your own teammates or the opposing team.


    1. I’m glad the message has finally reached everyone. I need to find some time to delve into the problem. It’s similar to the problem I had last summer, so I may be looking for a new email option.

      I don’t think disliking the men’s hair is a double standard because I’m not crazy about all the women’s hair either. But it does seem the men have gone a little crazy lately. It’s become quite the way to express themselves!!

  4. I enjoyed reading your thoughts as a former player. This was the first year I watched any of March Madness in a long time (mens or women’s). We only watched the women’s games! Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese are such exciting players to watch. I recently listened to Sue Bird on an episode of NPR’s Fresh Air, and her thoughts about the younger players were interesting.

    Yes, I agree, those one-legged tights are strange looking!

    1. I thought this post would inspire more conversation but it’s been very quiet. I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my observations!! Thanks for letting me know you read it.

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