3x3 basketball and an individual basketball skills competition both feature on the programme at Nanjing 2014.
A half-court variation of the game, played under FIBA rules using a single basket, 3x3 basketball has had a place on the Youth Olympic Games programme since the inaugural edition in Singapore in 2010, when it made its international debut, where Serbia won the men’s competition and China took gold in the women’s event. Nanjing 2014 will also stage an exciting new basketball event, with both men and women competing in individual skill competitions.
An excitement-packed and fun version of the sport, 3x3 basketball has proved popular with youngsters in playgrounds across the world. 3x3 has its own set of rules, with each team taking turns to attack and defend and having to exchange the ball behind the arc following any dead-ball situation (check ball). When one team scores, the opposing side takes possession of the ball beneath the basket and goes on the attack. Successful shots from behind the arc (6.75m from the basket) are awarded two points, while shots from inside the arc earn one point, as do free throws, with teams given 12 seconds in which to attempt a shot. Each game lasts one 10-minute period, though if a team scores 21 points or more before the end of the regular playing time, they are declared the winner.
The men’s and women’s 3x3 basketball competitions will take place at the Wutaishan Sports Centre on 18-26 August, and will each feature 20 teams, with a total of 80 boys and 80 girls taking part overall. The teams will be drawn into two pools of ten, each of which will involve a round-robin format. The top eight sides in each group will go forward to knockout phase, which begins with the round of 16. The semi-finals, matches for third place and the finals will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday 26 August.
The men’s and women’s individual skills events will be held on 21 August. Participants will take part in qualifying rounds held simultaneously on two courts, with the top four players in each event going on to contest the final medal round.
While the girls will be pitting their wits against each other in a shootout contest, the boys will be doing their best to outjump each other in a dunk competition.
Nanjing 2014 is sure to provide another entertaining and exciting insight into this new variation of the game.