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fcom - About FIBA - Quick facts

FIBA: International Basketball Federation

The abbreviation 'FIBA' derives from the French 'Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur'. The Word 'Amateur' was dropped in 1986 after the distinction between Amateurs and Professionals was eliminated. The 'A' in FIBA was however left. This was for reasons of tradition and also because of the 'BA' at the beginning of our sport, BASKETBALL!

Who we are

  • FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, is an independent association formed by 213 National federations of basketball throughout the world
  • FIBA is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
  • FIBA is a non-profit making organization and, in principle, does not pursue any objective of economic character for its own gains
  • The headquarters of FIBA are established in Mies, Switzerland. 

What we do

  • FIBA establishes the Official Basketball Rules, the specifications for equipment and facilities, and all internal executive regulations that must be applied to all international and Olympic competitions, for which FIBA also establishes the system of competition
  • FIBA controls and governs the appointment of international referees
  • FIBA regulates the transfer of players from one country to another
  • FIBA controls and governs all international competitions.

More details on our different activities here

Key numbers

  • A study conducted by TGI Europe in 2006 in the four European markets UK, FRA, ESP and GER and based on 56.00 interviews, shows that the 33 million basketball fans in these four markets are mainly young (15 - 24), male and deriving from high social grade categories.
  • A global study, conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide in April '97 based on 35,000 interviews, showed that 11% of the world plays basketball. Basketball has even replaced football as the most popular sport in areas like Asia and Australia and is on the way to surpassing football worldwide
  • Over 450 million people play basketball on competition and grassroots level in 2007, but the number of licensed players has also risen drastically since 1992

Key dates

  • December 1891: Basketball is invented in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, when Dr. James Naismith tosses a ball into a peach basket
  • June 18th, 1932: FIBA is founded by the following eight National Federations: Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland
  • August 1st, 1936: Basketball is played for the first time in the Olympics at the Games of the XIth Olympiad in Berlin
  • October 22nd, 1950: First World Championship for Men is opened in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • March 7th, 1953: First World Championship for Women is opened in Santiago, Chile
  • April 8th, 1989: The FIBA World Congress decides to eliminate the distinction between amateurs and professionals, making all basketball players eligible for FIBA competitions
  • 1991: The Centenary of basketball is celebrated by an estimated 350 million basketball  players throughout the world. Celebrations end at the birthplace of basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
  • July 1992: For the first time, professional players participate at the Olympic Games in Barcelona
  • January 2002: FIBA counts 211 member federations and an estimated 400 million players
  • March 2003: FIBA counts 212 member federations and an estimated 450 million players
  • August 2006: Montenegro becomes FIBA's 213th member federation
  • March 2007: FIBA inaugurates the FIBA Hall of Fame in Alcobendas on the occasion of its 75th anniversary
  • June 18th, 2013: FIBA inagurates its new headquarters, the House of Basketball, based in Mies, Switzerland.