IOC adds 3-on-3 basketball to 2020 Olympics

Maybe having a big three can win you more than just an NBA title.

Today, the International Olympic Committee approved the addition of a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo. The IOC has experimented with 3×3 in their various youth tournaments since 2010.

According to a release from FIBA, because 3×3 uses an economy of space, 3×3 is perfect for an urban environment:

3×3 is widely considered the number one urban team sport – perfect for social media engagement with youngsters – and is simple enough to be played anywhere by anybody.

FIBA President Horacio Muratore said: “The intensity and skill level of the 3×3 Game is such that there are no traditional 3×3 powerhouses and new countries have emerged since the first YOG experience in 2010. This was our main objective back in 2007. The decision provides FIBA with a renewed, strong incentive to continue in this direction and grow the game of basketball by developing new young skilled basketball talents in both genders across the globe from small islands to large countries in every continent.”

Events can be staged indoors like in shopping malls, outdoors on traditional basketball courts or in iconic locations with an efficient and compact temporary stage, always with the goal to bring basketball directly to the people within an urban festival atmosphere.

“The IOC’s decision provides great encouragement for FIBA to continue promoting our urban discipline. This decision fits perfectly well with the concept of the urban cluster proposed for the 2020 Tokyo Games. Similarly important for us is that it also provides our membership with a new chance for medals at the Olympic Games and that the dream of a path from the streets to the Olympic Games has become reality for all the basketball community and the 3×3 players. We are very grateful to the IOC for today’s decision” Baumann added.

The competition format, qualification system and the location of the 3×3 venue in Tokyo will be announced at a later stage.

Update: Some more comments on the announcement from both NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Mark Tatum and USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley.

From Tatum:

“Today’s announcement by the IOC to include 3-on-3 basketball in the 2020 Olympics is great news and continues to signify the growing popularity of basketball around the world. The last few years, we have made a major push in 3-on-3 basketball with our nationwide Dew NBA 3X tour and several international 3-on-3 competitions, and the Olympic stage will provide these elite athletes with the opportunity to further demonstrate their talents.”

And here’s USAB’s Tooley:

“USA Basketball is excited that 3×3 basketball has been added to the 2020 Olympic Games. 3×3 is a great way to develop the sport and expand it to parts of the world that might not otherwise be active in basketball. It is a popular and growing sport; it’s non-stop; fast-paced; high energy; and an exciting version of the game.

Since FIBA and the IOC organized the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010 and included 3×3 basketball in it, 3×3 has proven to be a global sport and one of the most popular spectator sports. USA Basketball hopes the addition of 3×3 to the Olympics will help grow participation in the sport worldwide.”