3-on-3 basketball, better known as street basketball, is not a new game. What’s new is that FIBA will create a new version with worldwide unified rules and played by National Teams of youngsters of less than 18 years of age. ‘FIBA33’, the name of this new game, will be launched at the first Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore. 20 boys' teams and 20 girls' squads from as many as 35 countries could compete for the medals in the beautiful Asian island nation.
The rules of FIBA 33 are quite simple. A team consists of four players (three players are on the court and one is a substitute) and one coach. The game is played on a half court, on one basket, in three periods of five minutes each. Most of the FIBA rules regarding scoring and fouling are valid. The team scoring first 33 points or leading the game after the regular game time is the winner.
"FIBA 33 offers us and our member federations an exciting new tool to promote the sport especially amongst youngsters, both within our own countries and internationally," said FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann. "The test event in Macau showed us how much fun the young players had, but also how spectacular and competitive the new game can be. The 3-on-3 concept is certainly not new, but what is new is that it will be played on a national team level, with worldwide valid rules, in top-class international competition, and the whole FIBA structure and family can participate in it. The 3-on-3 concept has all the elements and skills required for basketball, it has inspired and will continue to inspire many great players in the future. At the same time, it is the easiest and one of the most effective ways to bring youngsters to basketball, keep them and promote our game. Finally, FIBA 33 can and will promote key educational and social values to the next generations."
There are many more arguments for FIBA to start this initiative. It seems that the game format will allow small basketball countries to be very competitive on the highest level.
FIBA 33 will enable emerging basketball nations from all continents to be involved in top international competition and develop successful youth programs. In addition, the simple format will also allow the practice of the game in international competition, but also on grassroots level.
The FIBA 33 Basketball Game will be played in accordance with the Rules underlined below. The Official FIBA Basketball Rules are valid for all game situations not specifically mentioned in FIBA 33 Rules. It goes without saying that the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship are an integral part of FIBA 33 Rules.
ART. 1 – COURT
The game will be played on a half court of a regular FIBA basketball playing court.
ART. 2 – TEAMS
Each team shall consist of a maximum of four (4) players (3 players on the court and 1 substitute) and one (1) coach.
ART.3 - GAME OFFICIALS
The game officials shall be one (1) referee assisted by three (3) table officials, namely a scorer, a timer and a fourteen (14) second operator.
ART.4 - BEGINNING OF THE GAME
4.1. Both teams shall warm-up (3 minutes) simultaneously.
4.2. The game shall begin with a jump ball at the free-throw line, team A facing the basket. The team that gains control of a ball shall be entitled to shoot for the goal immediately, without necessity of returning the ball to behind the three-point line. The opponents will be entitled to the ball at the next jump ball situation in accordance with the alternating possession arrow rule. The arrow will be directed to the bench of the team which is entitled to the ball at the next alternating possession opportunity.
ART.5 - PLAYING TIME/WINNER OF A GAME
5.1. The regular playing time shall consist of three (3) periods of five (5) minutes each.
5.2. However the first team which scores 33 or more points will be the winner of a game if it happens before the end of a regular playing time.
5.3. If the score is tied at the end of the last period, the game shall continue with as many extra periods of two (2) minutes as is necessary to break the tie.
5.4. There shall be an interval of one (1) minute before each period and each extra period.
5.5. The game clock shall be stopped after the successful field goal only in last one (1) minute of the last period and of the extra period. The game clock shall be restarted once the offensive player receives the ball at any place on the court.
5.6. A team shall lose the game by forfeit (33:0) if three (3) minutes after the scheduled starting time the team is not present on the playing court with three (3) players ready to play.
ART. 6 - FOULS BY PLAYER/FOULS BY TEAM
A player who has committed four (4) fouls must leave the game. A team is in a penalty foul situation when it has committed three (3) fouls in a period.
ART. 7 - FOURTEEN SECOND DEVICE
The team must attempt a shot for a field goal within 14 seconds.
ART. 8 - HOW THE BALL IS PLAYED
8.1. Following each successful field goal or last free throw:
- A player of a non-scoring team will resume the game by passing the ball from the place behind the end line to his teammate to any place on the court. However, if that place is not behind the three-point line, the ball receiver must dribble/pass the ball to a place on the court behind the threepoint line.
- Once the ball is behind the three-point line, a minimum of two (2) players of the offensive team (ball receiver/dribbler and his teammate) must touch the ball before an attempt to score.
8.2. Following each unsuccessful field goal or last free throw:
- If the offensive team rebound the ball, it may continue to attempt the score without returning the ball to behind the three-point line.
- If the defensive team rebound the ball, it must return the ball (by passing or dribbling) behind the three-point line.
- Once the ball is behind the three-point line a minimum of two (2) players of the offensive team (ball receiver/dribbler and his teammate) must touch the ball before an attempt to score.
8.3. Following the steal, turnover etc.: If it happens within the two-point area, the ball must be passed/dribbled to a place behind the three-point line. Once the ball is behind the three-point line, a minimum of two (2) players of the offensive team (ball receiver/dribbler and his teammate) must touch the ball before the attempt to score.
8.4. Should the first offensive player who has dribbled/received the ball at a place behind the three-point line attempt to score, it is a violation. If he is fouled on his attempt, it is a foul but not on the shooter.
8.5. All throw-ins following the fouls (without free throws), violations, out-of bounds, at the beginning of a second and third period and of the extra period shall be taken from the out-of-bounds level with the top of all three-point line, closest to the infraction. The places shall be marked in out-of-bounds by 5 cm line. The referee shall hand the ball to the out-of-bound player. The thrower- in must pass the ball to his teammate to any place on the court behind the three-point line. However, it that place is not behind the three-point, the ball receiver must dribble/pass the ball to a place on the court behind the three-point line.
8.6. Dunking of the ball is not permitted unless pressure-released rings are used.
ART. 9 – SUBSTITUTION
The substitution shall be permitted when the ball becomes dead and the game clock is stopped.
ART. 10 - TIME-OUTS
There are no time-outs granted to any team at any time.