3x3 basketball

Last updated
3x3 basketball
FIBA 3x3 Logo black.png
Highest governing body FIBA
Team members4 (3 on court)
Mixed-sex Single or mixed
TypeIndoor or outdoor
Equipment Basketball
Olympic Youth Olympic Games since 2010
European Games since 2015
Olympic Games
since 2021
Commonwealth Games from 2022

3x3 basketball (pronounced three-ex-three [1] ) is a variation of basketball played three-a-side, with one backboard and in a half-court setup. According to an ESSEC Business School study commissioned by the International Olympic Committee, 3x3 is the largest urban team sport in the world. [2] This basketball game format is currently being promoted and structured by FIBA, the sport's governing body. [3] Its primary competition is an annual FIBA 3X3 World Tour, [4] comprising a series of Masters and one Final tournament, and awarding six-figure prize money in US dollars. The FIBA 3x3 World Cups for men and women are the highest tournaments for national 3x3 teams. The 3x3 format has been adopted for both the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2022 Commonwealth Games.



3x3 has been a basketball format long played in streets and gyms across the world, albeit in a less formal way. Starting in the late 2000s, 3x3 game rules started to become standardized throughout the United States, most notably through the Gus Macker [5] and Hoop It Up [6] tournament series, which held large events across the country that included teams and players from all skill levels. In 1992, Adidas launched its now-discontinued streetball competition. [7] Since then, the number of 3x3 events and competitions has been steadily growing around the world.

FIBA took the decision to first test 3x3 at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games in Macau. Further test events were held in April 2008 in the Dominican Republic and October 2008 in Indonesia. The international debut was at the 2009 Asian Youth Games: 19 teams competed in the boys' tournament and 16 teams competed in the girls' tournament. All games were held at Anglican High School in Tanah Merah, Singapore. 3x3 made its worldwide competitive debut at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore. The competition featured 20 teams in both boys' and girls' categories. The competition was held at the Youth Space. Since then, world championships in both open and U18 categories are held regularly.

FIBA launched a full program to make 3x3 a standalone game with its own format and regular competitions. 3x3 debuted as an Olympic sport at the 2020 Summer Olympics. [8]


3x3 basketball game
A men's international match between Romania and Slovenia in Bucharest (September, 2014) 3x3basketball.jpg
A men's international match between Romania and Slovenia in Bucharest (September, 2014)

FIBA releases from time-to-time a supplement to its official basketball rules specifically for 3x3. The rules state that regular FIBA rules apply to all situations not specifically addressed in the FIBA 3x3 rules. The current set, both in an abbreviated version [9] and longer format, [10] was published in August 2019. [11]

The current rules depart from regular full-court basketball in the following ways:


FIBA sees 3x3 as a major vehicle for promotion of the game of basketball throughout the world. FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann explained: "The 3x3 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 3x3 can and will promote key educational and social values to the next generations." [14]

FIBA is pursuing a unique click-and-brick strategy to implement 3x3. FIBA has developed a digital community [15] [16] that acts as a repository for all FIBA-endorsed 3x3 events worldwide and offers all players an individual world ranking [17] based on the points earned by players at FIBA-endorsed 3x3 events.

Any event around the world can become FIBA-endorsed by using FIBA's freeware, EventMaker, [18] to organise the event. All FIBA-endorsed 3x3 events are classified within an established competition hierarchy, thus forming an official competition network. The pinnacle of this competition network is the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, [19] which includes a series of World Tour Masters and one Final. A team can qualify for a World Tour Masters by playing in any of the designated World Tour qualifiers.

The North American National Basketball Association (NBA) has also embraced 3x3. Since 2016, the NBA has held a summer series of tournaments known as "Dew NBA 3X", where local amateur players from around the US compete in regional events for cash prizes and a finals berth. The men's and women's NBA 3X champions then advance to the USA Basketball national 3x3 championship to potentially represent their country internationally. [20] These tournaments also include live music performances, 3-point shooting contests for fans, an NBA 2K eSports competition, and appearances from current NBA players. In 2017, entertainer Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz founded BIG3, where former NBA and US college basketball stars compete in a traveling league using rules slightly different from the FIBA rulebook, and also using a ball that meets the specifications for the men's full-court game instead of the FIBA 3x3 ball.

The qualification system for the FIBA 3x3 World Cups for men and women differs radically from the system used for FIBA full-court competitions. According to The New York Times , 3x3 has "an unusual qualifying system designed to grow the sport all year long as much as find the best teams for the World Cup." [21] National team entries are based strictly on a country's official 3x3 ranking. The ranking system for national teams also considers individual player rankings. Even a national ranking that would ostensibly qualify a team for the World Cup is not sufficient to gain entry because FIBA currently mandates that the 20 men's and women's teams that participate in a given year's World Cups come from 30 countries, making it more difficult for individual nations to enter both genders into the World Cup. For example, the US women's team qualified for the 2018 World Cup while the men's team did not, even though the men were ranked higher than the women on the cutoff date. Participating in a FIBA-sanctioned 3x3 event can earn ranking points; according to a FIBA executive, "Andorra has heavy participation every weekend." [21] The current concentration of ranking events in Europe makes it more difficult for non-European nations, especially the US, to qualify. The aforementioned FIBA executive, when asked about the prospect of the 2020 Olympic debut of 3x3 potentially lacking any participation from the US, admitted that "a lot of teams want to beat the US. Beating the US teams is an achievement." [21]

World Cups

After the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics, FIBA established a regular World Cup that always includes men and women competing simultaneously in open, U23 and U18 categories. World Cups are played every year, except in years when there are Youth Olympic Games or Olympic Games. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 event.

Classification to the World Cup is based on the 3x3 Federation Ranking, [22] which ranks all National Federations based on the 3x3 Individual World Ranking points of their top 100 nationals in the respective category (i.e. men, women, U23 men, U23 women, U18 men, and U18 women).

International games

3x3 basketball became a regular European Games contest since its introduction at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

On June 9, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee announced that 3x3 basketball would be added to the Olympic programme for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, for both men and women. [23]

In August 2017, it was announced that 3x3 basketball would be held at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. [24]

After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, FIBA banned Russian teams and officials from participating in FIBA 3x3 Basketball competitions. [25]

Major event medalist

Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia
Agnis Čavars
Edgars Krūmiņš
Kārlis Lasmanis
Nauris Miezis
Olympic flag.svg  ROC
Ilia Karpenkov
Kirill Pisklov
Stanislav Sharov
Alexander Zuev
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Dušan Domović Bulut
Dejan Majstorović
Aleksandar Ratkov
Mihailo Vasić
Tokyo 2020
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Stefanie Dolson
Allisha Gray
Kelsey Plum
Jackie Young
Olympic flag.svg  ROC
Evgeniia Frolkina
Olga Frolkina
Yulia Kozik
Anastasia Logunova
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Wan Jiyuan
Wang Lili
Yang Shuyu
Zhang Zhiting

See also

Related Research Articles

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Basketball court Rectangular playing surface, with baskets at each end

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In basketball, a technical foul is any infraction of the rules penalized as a foul which does not involve physical contact during the course of play between opposing players on the court, or is a foul by a non-player. The most common technical foul is for unsportsmanlike conduct. Technical fouls can be assessed against players, bench personnel, the entire team, or even the crowd. These fouls, and their penalties, are more serious than a personal foul, but not necessarily as serious as a flagrant foul.

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Flagrant foul Basketball foul for excessive or violent conduct

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Foul (basketball) Unfair act by a player in basketball

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Key (basketball) Area on a basketball court

The key, officially referred to as the free throw lane by the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the restricted area by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and colloquially as the lane or the paint, is a marked area on a basketball court surrounding the basket. It is bounded by the endline, the free-throw line and two side lines, and usually painted in a distinctive color. It is a crucial area on the court where much of the game's action takes place.

History of basketball Account of the history and development of the sport of basketball

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Bonus (basketball)

In the sport of basketball, the bonus situation occurs when one team accumulates a requisite number of fouls, which number varies depending on the level of play. When one team has committed the requisite number of fouls, each subsequent foul results in the opposing team's taking free throws regardless of the type of foul committed. Teams under the limit are commonly referred to as having fouls to give, and thus they can try to disrupt their opponents without being penalized free throws. These fouls reset every quarter or half depending on the rules in use.

Basketball is a ball game and team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules. Since being developed by James Naismith as a non-contact game that almost anyone can play, basketball has undergone many different rule variations, eventually evolving into the NBA-style game known today. Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.

United States womens national 3x3 team USA Womens 3x3 Team

The USA Women's 3x3 Teams are two of the teams under the auspices of the USA Basketball organization. In 2007, FIBA decided to start championships for the 3x3 event, starting in 2010. Two events are held, one for athletes under 18 years of age and one open event. The under 18 event (U18) is held every year, although in every fourth year, starting with 2010, the event is part of the Youth Olympic Games. The open events are held every other year, in even-numbered years, starting in 2012.

Big3 Professional basketball league set up in a 3-on-3 concept featuring former NBA greats and players

Big3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league founded by hip hop musician and actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. The league consists of 12 teams whose rosters include both former NBA players and international players. The rules of Big3 games contain deviations from the official rules of 3-on-3 basketball as administered by FIBA. In January 2020, Big3 announced its rule set would be the core of a new basketball variant called "Fireball3".


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