Last month’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore was the first time FIBA’s new 3on3 format was played in an officially sanctioned international competition.
20 national boys teams and 20 national girls teams descended on the city’s famous Orchard Street to compete, show off their skills and bathe in the free spirit of 3on3 basketball. The format, which has come to life over the past few years, is inspired by several forms of tournament played around the world.
Born at the 2007 IndoorAsian Games in Macau as a demonstration sport, the FIBA 3on3 concept underwent a successful test period that included two important events, in Boca Chica in April and in Bali in October 2008. This test period involved a number of experimentations and culminated in the fixing of a set of rules adapted to the objectives established when 3on3 was chosen for inclusion among the key activities of FIBA.
In this exciting version of the game, which encourages the players to express themselves on court with displays of skill and trickery, two teams of three players face off on a standard half-court.
Games are played in periods of five minutes, with the first team to reach a score of 33 winning the game. If neither team reaches 33 points after the second and final period, the team with the highest score wins the game.
The YOG 3on3 basketball competition also included exciting skills challenges, such threepoint, mixed and free-throw shooting contests.
All this comes together to create a game that is fast, exhilarating and, most importantly, accessible to all. Played outdoors or indoors, requiring only very basic infrastructure and a ball, FIBA 3on3 is also intended to further help basketball be one of the most democratic sports around. Players outside basketball’s traditional structures will in future find themselves included in the basketball family, and will thereby have found a new voice to express their passion for the sport.
The enthusiasm it generated and the ease with which this new version was embraced in Singapore mean that this first ever top-class 3on3 event can already be used as a benchmark for a format that we believe has a very bright future.