(Reuters) – Focus on 3×3 basketball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
THE ABSOLUTE BASICS * The game is basically the same as traditional basketball, but played on a half court and with three players active instead of five. One substitute player sits on the bench.
* A regular basket is one point, but a goal from the three-point line of standard basketball gives you two. * The match has a 10-minute time span with a 12-second clock. The first team to 21 points, or the highest score when times runs out, wins.
HOW MANY MEDALS? There are eight gold medals up for grabs between the women’s and men’s four-person squads.
WHAT HAPPENED IN RIO?
Nothing! While 3×3 (pronounced “three-ex-three”) has never appeared at the Olympics before, it has enjoyed growing popularity at organised events across the globe for more than a decade.
WHAT’S NEW? Everything!
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO?
With the United States men’s team sitting out the Games, Serbia look to be the favourites, led by Dusan Bulut, the top player in the sport, followed by ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) — so-called because Russia’s team name is banned as part of sanctions for several doping scandals. On the women’s side, France and Russia lead FIBA’s federation rankings. WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?July 24-28
WHERE IS IT HAPPENING? The Aomi Urban Sports Park on the island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay
HOW DID WE GET HERE? 3×3 is a codified version of pick-up basketball that has been played on streets and in school gyms for decades. The sport’s global organising body is FIBA based in Mies, Switzerland.
WELL FANCY THAT
DJs play hip-hop music throughout competition 3×3 games, adding to the stylish vibe of this emerging sport. Women and men use a specialised 3×3 ball, which is slightly smaller than the sort used in the NBA.
(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Ken Ferris)