South Africa's basketball community

FIBA 33 3-on-3 basketball tournament

By on April 5, 2010 in News

For the last few years, FIBA has been testing a cool format for a 3-on-3 tournament. With the upcoming Youth Olympic Games [more news to follow soon], we’ll see the fruit of it as FIBA endorses this style tournament for the first time.

This tournament type is cleverly called “33” – a reference to both the 3-on-3 style and the winning number of points.

Fiba 33

The rules of FIBA 33 are meant to be simple – a team consists of four players (three on court and one substitute) and one coach. The game is played on a half court, on one basket, in two periods of five minutes each. Most of the FIBA rules regarding scoring and fouling are in effect. The team that is first to score 33 points wins – if neither team reaches 33 by the end of the game, the team leading the game is the winner.

You can see the full rules as well as a template scoresheet at the bottom of this article.

FIBA says 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.

We think this is brilliant and offers a great fresh format for basketball tournaments.

And looking at the success of the new 20-20 format in cricket worldwide, it’s clear that this has huge potential to generate new spectator interest in the game and increase its popularity. In fact, I hope that South African basketball will take this on – build on the format, market it and grow it. It could bring more youngsters into the game, bring in more spectators and sponsors, develop talent and take the game to new heights here in South Africa!

According to FIBA: “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.”

Do you think the “33” has potential to reinvigorate South African basketball development?

The rules:

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You can see the official FIBA rules on their site by clicking here, but for some strange reason they didn’t include the scoresheet in that one.

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