The FIBA Research and Study Centre is closely involved in a number of arena projects around the globe aimed at implementing the guidelines and recommendations contained in the FIBA Safety Standards in Halls (2002 Edition). The arena projects currently under active consultation by the FIBA Study Centre are sports facilities designed to host a wide variety of events, but specifically for the following upcoming main basketball competitions:
- The Olympic Games Tournament for Men and Women 2004 to be held in Athens (Greece). The Indoor Arena of the Helliniko Olympic Complex, located in the southern suburb of Athens, will be the site of the men’s and women’s basketball preliminary rounds. This is a 15,000-seat facility and is set for completion in January 2004. The basketball finals will take place in the Olympic Indoor Hall of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex, located in the northern suburb of Maroussi. During basketball game times, the capacity for this facility is 18,000. The construction of both of these facilities has been closely monitored through a series of inspection visits carried out by FIBA to ensure that the construction work adheres to the recommendations and standards outlined by FIBA for high-level competitions.
- The 2nd Diamond Ball for Men 2004 and the Final Round of the 24th European Championship for Men 2005 to be held in Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro). The new Belgrade Arena has been inspected by FIBA and considerable technical advice has been given by the FIBA Study Centre in order to achieve the optimal solutions that combine adherence to the highest standards, cost effectiveness, and good management of the building.
- The XV Pan-American Championship 2007 to be held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Plans have just recently begun for the new Multi Sports Arena at the Rio Race-Track Sports Complex. This facility, located in Barra da Tijuca, will have a capacity of 10,000 spectators for basketball.
- The Olympic Games Tournament for Men and Women 2008 to be held in Beijing (China). The Wukesong Cultural and Sports Centre has requested the FIBA Study Centre’s involvement in their facility planning, in agreement with the International Olympic Committee’s Sport Department. Additionally, in September 2003, the Russian Basketball Federation invited the FIBA Study Centre to consult on a large government project that will entail building 11 basketball facilities throughout Russia. These sports halls will be both for high-level competitions and many other sports activities.
As a prior condition for engaging the assistance of The FIBA Research and Study Centre, all basketball facilities should first meet the requirements laid out according to the legal provisions of the specific country pertaining to any aspect of the regulations with respect to the planning, construction and operation of such facilities (with particular reference to safety, hygiene, and access for the disabled). In addition, the facilities have to meet the regulations laid out by the National Olympic Committees.
In addition to the basic local requirements, the guidelines and recommendations outlined in the FIBA Safety Standards in Halls (2002 Edition) specify the minimum qualitative and quantitative levels to be observed in the construction of new basketball court facilities, or in the work carried out on restructuring existing facilities with the aim of obtaining a building with all the requisite services for high-level competitions. The guidelines and recommendations contained in the FIBA Safety Standards in Halls (2002 Edition) start with the specifications and standards existing for facilities for basketball equipment already present in the Official FIBA Basketball Rules (2000 Edition). The most important aim is to obtain a degree of harmony and uniformity for structures within the facilities such as: sports flooring; supporting services sections (athletes’ changing rooms, changing rooms for referees and commissioners, doping control rooms, first aid rooms); lighting systems; heating and air conditioning; sound and public announcement systems. The conditions of the structures specified above can considerably influence the balance of fairness in a competition as well as impact the health and well-being of the players.
Another important aspect, apart from the health of the players, is the safety and comfort of spectators, which can be achieved by the appropriate sizing of the areas available (seating, tribunes, entrance halls, exits) and highly visible signs to indicate a clear separation of the spectator section from the supporting services and sports activities sections.
Moreover, the guidelines and recommendations specified in the FIBA Safety Standards in Halls (2002 Edition) are in compliance with Agenda 21 of the Olympic Movement, adopted by the IOC on October 22, 1999 with the objective of encouraging all the members of the Olympic Movement such as the IOC itself, international federations, National Olympic Committees, clubs, athletes, and coaches to play a more active part in sustainable development.
Indeed, sports facilities must be built or restructured in harmony with the local environment, both natural and artificial, and comply with land use. Durable and safe construction materials must be used, water and energy resources must be utilized appropriately, and waste managed efficiently. An important objective is the use of renewable energy resources and having all the construction and restructuring subject to environmental impact monitoring.
In conclusion, the thorough and dynamic involvement of the FIBA Research and Study Centre in the previously mentioned arenas throughout the world and other projects in the future ensures that sports facilities aimed at hosting high-level FIBA competitions comply with the appropriate standards. This is consistent with the overall objective of the FIBA Study Centre to make all entities involved in the planning and construction of such sports facilities aware of the importance of the existing safety and technical standards for basketball and to recommend the best possible solutions to construct premier facilities.