Granny Basketball is a Thing, and Apparently a Lot of Fun

It’s likely that almost everyone you talk to has never heard of the Granny Basketball League. It all began back in 2005, when founder Barb McPherson Trammel grabbed a bunch of her friends and put on an exhibition game in Lansing, Iowa, to raise money to preserve a historic building. The game consisted of “older” ladies, and soon after other towns heard about the game, they wanted to play too. Pretty soon there were four teams and they decided to have a tournament instead of the exhibition game. Then, the Granny Basketball League was formed, and over time even more towns joined. As the league grew, organizations would invite Granny Basketball teams to play against their own town teams to help raise money for various projects. The league has raised over $200,000 for charities, schools, booster clubs, leukemia victims, etc. The teams will play men, women, young, old — whoever they have to play to raise money for their charities. There’s just one stipulation — you have to play by the Granny Basketball rules. 


  1. 1. A team consists of 5-6 women age 50 and older — 2 guards, 2 forwards, and 1 or 2 centers. The coach may play if otherwise eligible. 
  2. 2. A game consists of four 8-minute quarters and the clock is stopped only for timeouts, free throws, and falls. 
  3. 3. There are no timelines or lane restrictions. 
  4. 4. Two dribbles are allowed per possession per player. 
  5. 5. Players must be no closer than 3 feet from the sideline when an inbound pass is occurring. 
  6. 6. No running or jumping, though players may “hurry.” Infractions constitute a turnover. 
  7. 7. No physical contact. Infractions constitute a foul. Players are disqualified after 3 fouls. 
  8. 8. Three points are scored if a shot is thrown underhand, two points for other shots. One point is scored for free throws. 
  9. 9. If the score is tied at the end of regulation play, an additional 4-minute overtime period is played. 

Today, the Granny Basketball League has grown to more than 450 players on 41 teams in 10 states. If you are interested in playing, more information can be found here.