Should WBB practice versus men?

If there was anything else going on, I probably would not have started this. I had a couple of hours in the car this morning and the sports talk radio had the Duquesne WBB coach on. He said he recruits appropriate height men from the student body to practice against his women. Looks for 5'8" to 6'2" or 6'3". He has 6 or 7 of these guys and the women practice against them every day. He said the guys get good enough that they win the intramural championship frequently; last year they beat the football team players for the championship.

The first question I thought of: Is this legal in D1 WBB?

The next thing I thought of was how much our WBB team would improve playing against a group of talented men players. I know the women can't compete against really good men, like the ones on our MBB team; but I bet there are a number of very good men in our student body that would really push the ladies to improve their game.

Does anyone know if Coach Brooks does anything like this? Do you have any comments on whether this is a good or bad idea?

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The first question I thought of: Is this legal in D1 WBB?

Why wouldn't it be? It's been a thing since the 70's. Very common in the WNBA, too, where it's an alternative or a supplement to the D-league.

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I thought I read years ago that Tech did that. Can't remember when or who was the coach at the time.

Go Hokies!!

Bonnie Henderson definitely did it.

Beth Dunkenberger did it as well.

Yes the Hokie WBB has a practice squad of guys they play against. They take pictures for social media often with them.

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I was on the practice squad for WBB while I was at Tech. Loved every second of it. Used up all of my NCAA eligibility by being on the squad. If anyone thinks that girls cant play ball, they are greatly mistaken. WBB players are incredible athletes.

Hey I was too! It honestly was one of my favorite experiences about college. I still talk to the girls I played with too, all of them were great people

They'll really get after ya

Sweet man! I totally agree with you - was an amazing experience!! It was a ton of fun and great basketball! I still keep in touch with pretty much all the girls I played with. They were awesome, yet normal people, who were really good at basketball. I love running into some of them at football games throughout the year and catching up with them and sharing some good laughs and memories. Still wish I played ball that much like I did back then - silly priorities like wife and kids really cuts into your time to keep that jumper working right!! haha

Uconn does it as well. Geno talked about it a couple years ago on PMT.

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Sort of off topic to this, but I know Serena Williams practices against men. I believe their are two guys that are her regular practice partners.

I had a couple of friends while I was at tech (all dudes) that played against the Hokies WBB when I was there from 97-01

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This has been going on for a long time. My Dad used to do this at radford back in the early 80s (he transferred to Tech after his freshman year). He said when they ran full court they would crush them, but it was more 50/50 when they played half court.


Dang, if I'd known about this when I was in school, I totally would have tried to get on that practice squad

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Women's tennis teams across the country do this. A lot of times the bench warmers for the men's team, or the top guys on the club team are pretty competitive against the top women on the team.

On a semi-related note (to my comment), there's a new tennis ranking system called UTR, where you can play tournaments against people of your level, regardless of age, gender, experience, etc. So you can have a top boys junior player, a D3 men's college player,d a low level women's professional, and a 60-70 year old former (men's) pro all in the same bracket. It's pretty cool.

edit: a word

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My sister is on staff of a WCC women's team and they have fielded a male practice squad since she was hired back in 2012, if not longer. Also, when I was undergrad at Univ. of Memphis, then did open tryouts for a men's squad each year to practice vs. their women's team. This has been going on at the bigger schools and likely even smaller schools for a long time.

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A male buddy of mine was on the practice squad for Vanderbilt's WBB team for a few years around 2010. Just adding another data point - seems like this is a common practice.

I only ever heard positive things from him about the experience, even though he was frequently getting schooled by significantly more talented female players.

In high school we had the best girls team in the state all 4 years I was there. Our men's team was okay, I think a 3rd and a 2nd place finish and then probably 5-7 the other 2 years. But my senior year I joked that The men's team would have won titles all 4 years had we be swimming against women, a f I was right aslong as we didnt swim our women. (The womens state record for the 500 is still faster than the men's 20+ years later. Our girls team was so stacked that our C relay was faster than everyother teams A relay my junior year.)