MIES, Switzerland (3x3) – Just three years after its successful introduction at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, 3x3 basketball has enjoyed an explosive growth. With an exponential increase in the number of players, events and media coverage, FIBA believes 2013 has been a breakthrough year for 3x3.
The discipline is now played on all continents. A total of 105 countries have seen at least one promoter joining FIBA's revolutionary digital platform for 3x3 in 2013. The FIBA 3x3 U18 Championships for Men and Women were hosted for the first time outside of Europe, in Jakarta, Indonesia. The game also expanded to Africa with successful events in Tunisia, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Lesotho, with the discipline to be played at the upcoming African Youth Games in Botswana.
Featured in Sports Illustrated, the second edition of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour was a resounding success and an increasing number of cities and promoters are now bidding to organise a stage. In 2014, Manila (Philippines) will host one of the events in a venue that can hold 50,000 fans.
In 2013, FIBA and the Qatar Basketball Federation launched the first-ever FIBA 3x3 All Stars, an event which rewards the best players in the FIBA 3x3 Individual World Ranking, with a grand total of $120,000 in prize money. The event was broadcast in 84 countries, including Latin America where DirecTV reports it was watched by 20 million people.
The early days of 2014 have already shown 3x3’s television potential as the Copa América de Basquete 3x3, held in Rio, drew 50 percent of the audience share. In other words, one person out of two watching television in Brazil at the time of the event saw a Brazilian team defeat the US National Champion, proving the country’s pioneer status and medal aspirations in 3x3.
Watching Rio and a young Brazilian crowd at the event enjoy 3x3 was a reminder of how much the discipline would fit in the same city, two years from now at the 2016 Olympic Games.
FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann said: “We strongly believe that 3x3 is an exciting and spectacular discipline which offers a unique cocktail of sports and urban culture and responds to the IOC's clear wish to rejuvenate and modernise the summer programme.”
“We are very thankful to Rio 2016 for their continued support in our efforts for the inclusion of 3x3. FIBA has made an official bid to include 3x3 as a new Olympic discipline and is one hundred percent ready to be added to the Games as soon as this is possible.”
About FIBA and 3x3 basketball
Exciting, urban and innovative, 3x3 basketball is inspired by several forms of streetball played worldwide. Steered by FIBA, games see two teams of three players face off on a standard half-court.
It was played successfully for the first time in international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore and since then has benefitted from the launch of a yearly city-based 3x3 World Tour (www.3x3worldtour.com) and national-team world championships.
For further information about 3x3 basketball, visit fiba.com/3x3, twitter.com/3x3planet and youtube.com/3x3planet or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.