3x3 Basketball

3X3 explained

We've been explaining the story of 3X3 and what's going on behind the scenes to a lot of people lately. Since we can't explain it to all of you in person - even though we'd love to - , we decided to write it down.

So here it is: the story of 3X3.

The beginning 
3X3 Basketball - you can pronounce it as 3on3 - is no new thing, you know that. Waaaay back in the day, people played basketball outdoor, at local courts or in the streets. Maybe your father remembers playing outdoor. Mine sure does, he talks about it all the time. 

Anyway, we don't play outdoor anymore. We've got nice gyms, parquet floors, unbreakable backboards etc. But every now and then, come summertime, we still like to show of our skills in the open air. Heck, maybe even get a tan while we're playing. We just call up our buddies and tell 'em they can get their ankles broken at the local playground. They usually show up to prove you wrong. 

The AND1-guys we're su-per popular a few years ago. You've probably seen their mixtapes a thousand times.

You probably tried all these moves and maybe even played more 3X3 games than 5X5 games in your life. Think about it, how many drills in practice are 3X3 situations? 

So guess what? FIBA noticed too...

FIBA decided to just do it. They didn't rush into it, but watched and observed tournaments and organizers from around the world. 'Cause offcourse, 3X3 was being played everywhere and everybody had their own set of rules.
I remember playing 3X3 in Holland one day and they didn't even dribble outside the 3 point line after a defensive rebound, they just took the ball and layed it in - crazy right!? 

In 2011, FIBA called all National Basketball Federations to a meeting to discuss and discover their plans about 3X3.
They had put together a set of rules, worked out the main guidelines and wanted to extensively test it. 

At the same time they set 2 main goals for 3X3: 
  • to be the #1 urban sport
  • to become an Olympic discipline
The credo 'from the streets to the Olympics' was born! We're not quite there yet, so the slogan changed to "From the streets to the world stage" but you get the point. 


2012 was the year of the launch. We at VBL (Vlaamse Basketballiga) decided to go with it and organized the 3X3 Masters, the first 3X3 tour in Belgium to be endorsed by FIBA and to be part of the bigger 3X3 picture.
To do this, we teamed up with Sportizon so props to them!

2012 was also the year in which FIBA's 3X3 plan rolled out. It took us a while to fully get it, but once you get it, you can see the brilliance in their plans. Here it is:
  • every player that plays 1X1, 2X2 of 3X3 can get points for playing basketball. All you gotta do is let FIBA know that you're playing basketball, and who won offcourse. You can do that on 3X3planet.com.
  • the bigger the tournament, the more points a player gets for participating. 
  • all 3X3 organizers can use FIBA software to organize their 3X3 tournaments. If you use the software, the players will get their points automatically. 
  • all registered tournaments are part of 1 big competition network. As a player, you can climb the competition ladder all the way to the world stage. 

For example, if you played in our 3X3 Masters tournaments, you could qualify for the 3X3 Masters Finals. If you made it to our Finals, you can become the Belgian Champion 3X3. If you're top 4 in the +18 mens category, you advance to the 3X3 Challenger (international 3X3 tournament). The winner of the 3X3 Challenger advances to the 3X3 World Tour Qualification. The winners of the 3X3 World Tour Qualification eventually get to the biggest tournament of all: the 3X3 World Tour Finals. If you manage to win there, everybody should just bow down 'cause you're the 3X3 Champion of the World.

Besides the World Tour, there's also a nationality based competition 3X3. It's called - surprise - the 3X3 World Championship. What's the difference? The 3X3 World Championship is a competition between countries (their national teams), the 3X3 World Tour is a competition between players (you can play together with a Frenchie and a Russian if you want to).
If you wanna know who are the current World Champions, you can find it out here

2013 will be a big year for 3X3. FIBA submitted the bid for 3X3 to become an official basketball discipline in the Olympics as soon as 2016 or 2020.

We're working hard to make the 3X3 Masters bigger and better than last year, but you have to wait a lil' bit longer for more about that. All we can say now, is to save these dates:
  • Sunday June 23th - Leuven
  • Sunday June 30th - Machelen
  • Saturday July 6th - Gent
  • Saturday July 13th - Brussels
  • Friday July 19th - Antwerp
  • Saturday July 20th - Antwerp (FINALS)
For now, you can just relive last years finals: