The game made its debut at the Olympics in 2020.

The 3×3 basketball is the shorter version of the game with only three players per team competing compared to the default version of five players. The 3×3 format was largely promoted by the United States of America since the start of the 2000s. FIBA are the organizing body that conducts matches in both formats.

FIBA took the decision to first test the new format 3×3 at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games in Macau. Further test events were held in 2008 in the Dominican Republic and in Indonesia. After the successful completion of test events, the game made its international debut at the 2009 Asian Youth Games with 19 teams competing in the boys’ section and 16 teams competing in the girls’ section.

The 3×3 format was first held globally at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics and since then FIBA has started to launch a full program to make the format a standalone game and tournaments to be held regularly.

FIBA got approval from the IOC to include the format at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in both the men’s and women’s sections. The format made its introduction at the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2022 Commonwealth Games.


  • Each team shall consist of four players three playing on the court at a time along with a substitute.
  • A shot clock of 12 seconds is used.
  • Substitutions can occur only in a dead-ball situation that is a substitute can only enter from behind the end line opposite the basket, and the substitution becomes official once the player leaving the game has made physical contact with the substitute.
  • A player who commits two unsportsmanlike fouls is disqualified.
  • Each technical foul counts as 1 team foul, while each unsportsmanlike or disqualifying foul counts as 2 team fouls.
  • The game is held for 10 minutes with sudden death at 21 points. The winner is the first team to score 21 or the team with the higher score at the end of the 10 minutes. A tie-in regulation leads to an untimed overtime period. Whichever team scores two points wins the game. But if a game is tied at 20 at the end of regulation time, the team reaching 21 does not end the game.
  • If a player throws the ball inside the basket from outside the arc then the respective team is awarded two points and a point is awarded from inside the arc and free throws (committing a foul).

At the 2022 Olympics Latvia won the gold medal defeating ROC (Russia) in the men’s and the USA won the gold defeating ROC ( Russia) in the women’s section.

Indian Participation

India has played the 3×3 format regularly at the Asia level since 2013 but has never qualified for the World Cup. The Asia Cup for the 3×3 format was first played in Doha, in 2013 for both the men’s and women’s sections. Australia is the most successful team winning three editions in the men’s and New Zealand in the women’s.

The Indian women’s team won the inaugural edition beating Mongolia 21-14 but since then have never won a medal in the four editions held to date. The men’s team in the 2022 edition exited from the group stage without winning a match and finished 9th overall.

Indian men’s team lifted the 3×3 South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Qualifiers in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and achieved a top 8 finish at the 3×3 World Games in Chengdu, China.


A private league (3BL) is held in India every year with eight teams participating. 3BL also became the first and only Basketball Pro League in India to get the recognition of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI).

Delhi Divas (women) and Delhi Storm (men) participated in Red Bull Half Court World Finals in Cairo, Egypt 2021.

Indian Players

Vishesh Brighuvanshi is the current captain in both formats and is one of the most experienced players currently. The captain injured himself during a match at the 2022 Asia Cup denting India’s chances of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Sahaij Pratap Singh Sekhon, Prashant Singh Rawat and Manik Ohlan represented India at the 2022 Asia Cup.

Previously, India was set to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Qualifying tournament with India set to participate as hosts. But due to the pandemic, the tournament was cancelled dashing India’s hopes of qualifying. The tournament would have helped India gain experience playing against higher-seeded teams.

The Indian U17 boy’s team recently claimed the silver medal at the U-17 Asia Cup. The top three teams from this tournament qualify for the U-18 World to be held in 2023. This is the first time an Indian team will be playing a World Cup across any age group.

Kushal Singh and Lokhendra have been progressing well in the junior setup and will play a key role playing the U-18 World Cup.

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