The Olympics are looking for some street cred. The addition of sports such as skateboarding, surfing, and sports climbing is clearly an attempt to make the Olympics more appealing to the younger generation. The basketball event of 3×3 basketball is another. Without needing to go through the voting process of applying to get a new sport included, basketball has just added another event for Tokyo 2020 and doubled the number of medals available in their sport.
Basketball has been played at the Olympic Games since 1936 in Berlin, though there was a demonstration of basketball in St. Louis in 1904, and again in Paris in 1924. Major milestones in the history of Olympic basketball are the addition of a women’s basketball tournament in 1976, allowing professional players and the original US dream team in 1992, and now the addition of this new exciting version of basketball for men and women.
3×3 basketball (also called streetball or street basketball) is a variation of basketball that is played widely all around the world. The 3×3 form of the game is played with two teams of three players (plus one sub), on half a standard court and with just one hoop. The rules are essentially the same as for full-court basketball, the biggest change is in the scoring. Every successful shot from inside the arc of the court is given a point, from outside the arc is worth two points. The first team to score 21 points, or the team with the most points after 10 minutes, wins. If the score is tied after 10 minutes, the game goes into overtime with the first team to score two points is declared the winner. There are just 12 seconds on the shot clock, and play does not stop after a successful shot, making for fast-paced exciting games that will undoubtedly be a popular addition to the Tokyo Games.
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At Tokyo 2020 there will be an 8-team tournament, for men and women. All games will be held at the Aomi Urban Sports Park. Pool games will be followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals then a bronze medal and gold medal game.
- 24-27 July pool games
- 27 July quarter-finals
- 28 July semi-finals
- 29 July bronze medal game, gold medal game