FIBA will attempt in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to inaugurate 3 on 3 basketball as an Olympic sport. FIBA has had world rankings and tournaments for 3 on 3 basketball since 2010 and states in many articles that the sport is very popular. Many fans will be familiar with the rules of 3 on 3 basketball as it is modeled after the “playground” or “pickup” style game people have played since grade school. The teams will comprise three players and one substitute, there will be one referee and there will be a 12 second shot clock. Baskets will be one point field goals or two point field goals behind the arc and a team can win the game before the ten minute time period is up if they score over 21 points.
FIBA makes the argument for 3 on 3 basketball modeled after Beach Volleyball’s popularity as an Olympic sport following organized gymnasium or 6 on 6 volleyball. It believes that this format will provide a different view for basketball fans and have an equal probability of gaining popularity as a competitive sport. One problem will be in how FIBA’s 3 on 3 format will differ from the Reebok “And1″ tournaments among other playground-style basketball that has become more about dunks, “posterizing” opposing players and on-court celebrations rather than fundamental basketball. Beach Volleyball gained its fame by developing its own identity and character outside of the gym and the traditional volleyball format and style. The rules and style of play in the new game will dictate its popularity from 5 on 5 basketball then flashy outdoor venues or flamboyant player personalities profiled by TV desperate for ratings.