History: the birth of 3x3 basketball

The beginning of FIBA's intensified focus on 3x3 basketball came in 2007, when FIBA decided it would experiment with an alternative form of the sport at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore.

Examined in February 2007 by FIBA's Youth Basketball Commission and International Competitions Commission, 3x3 basketball was recommended to the FIBA Central Board as the format of play for the 2010 YOG, and approved in December 2007.

It was chosen because it is a sport with a young, urban and positive image, as well as for its universality and for the limited infrastructure and equipment required to play. Accordingly, 3x3 basketball was identified as a potential catalyst for the development of the sport of basketball worldwide.

In the lead up to Singapore, FIBA worked intensively on putting in place a unified and adapted set of rules for 3x3 basketball, while also examining the possibility of further international 3x3 tournaments as well as a 3x3 calendar.

3x3 made its first appearance on the international stage at the 2010 YOG and was labelled as "the hottest ticket in town".

In September 2010, the FIBA World Congress in Istanbul was provided with an in- depth presentation of the discipline and FIBA's ambitions for the further development of 3x3 basketball, which included it becoming an Olympic discipline.

A set of objectives and recommendations from a specially set-up 3x3 working group were combined to form a roadmap for the further development of 3x3 basketball. Thisincluded an improved set of rules as well as a technology driven strategy centring on a worldwide network of competitions and an online community of players. Participation and performances would result in an individual ranking, with players able to switch freely between teams from one tournament to another.

The roadmap was approved by FIBA's Central Board during their meeting in Lyon on 13 March 2011, and the go ahead also resulted in and a test phase held over the summer of 2011, during which FIBA collaborated on large number of 3x3 tournaments, gathering data and feedback.

Another important milestone was reached in September 2011, with the first ever FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup for boys and girls being held in the Italian seaside resort of Rimini.

The final pieces were put in place in December 2011, with FIBA's Central Board giving a further green light to an international calendar of competitions, beginning in 2012 and including the FIBA 3x3 World Cup and the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, the flagship events of a worldwide integrated Competition Network.

The launch of the player community and tournament network platform 3x3Planet in June 2012, completed the first chapter of the story of 3x3 basketball.