Basketball at Tokyo 2020

Venues: Saitama Super Arena (basketball), Aomi Urban Sports Venue (3×3)

Competition Dates: Basketball – July 26-August 9 (Days 2-16), 3×3 – July 25-29 (Days 1-5)

Events: 4 (2 men, 2 women)

Canada’s Anthony Bennett, right, leads the way as Canada leaves the court after losing 86-71 to Brazil in the men’s basketball gold medal game at the Pan Am Games, Saturday, July 25, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Basketball was invented by Canadian professor James Naismith at Springfield College in Massachusetts in December 1891. It didn’t take long for the game to evolve into something resembling the modern version. Dribbling became accepted, the team size dropped from nine to five, and field goals were changed from three to two points. The soccer ball Naismith had used was replaced by a larger leather-covered ball and instead of peach baskets (from which the ball was retrieved manually), there were nets attached to metal rims.

Tokyo 2020 will feature a further evolution in the sport with the Olympic debut of 3×3 basketball in addition to the traditional full-court team game.

The men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will each feature 12 teams of 12 players, although only five players are on the court at any one time. The teams in each tournament are divided into two groups of six for a preliminary round robin, earning two points for a win and one point for a loss. The top four teams in each group advance to the single elimination stage, beginning with the quarterfinals.

Although professional players, including those in the NBA, have been allowed to compete in the Olympic Games since Barcelona 1992, international rules differ from the NBA in some notable areas. Each game consists of four 10-minute quarters (versus 12-minutes in the NBA). In the event of a tie at the end of regulation, the game will continue with as many five-minute overtime periods as necessary. At 28m long and 15m wide, the international court is slightly smaller than that of the NBA (28.65m x 15.24m). The international three-point line is an arc of radius 6.75m from the basket (versus 7.24m in the NBA). The height of the net is the same under both rules, 3.05m above the floor.

The men’s and women’s 3×3 tournaments will each feature eight teams of four players, although only three players are on the court at any one time.

3×3 basketball is played on a court half the size of a standard court, measuring in at 11m long and 15m wide. It has just one basket for both teams to aim for. There is no mandatory surface, thus a 3×3 game can take place on concrete, asphalt, existing or temporary courts, provided playability and player safety are considered.

Each 3×3 game has one 10-minute period of playing time, so it can usually be completed within a 20-minute timeframe. However, a team will win a game if they score 21 points before all the playing time

has elapsed. In the case of a tie at the end of regulation, overtime will be played. The first team to score two points in overtime will win the game.

In 3×3, the shot clock is just 12 seconds, versus the 24 seconds in the full court game. Field goals count for one or two points, depending on whether a player shoots from inside (one point) or outside (two points) the arc.

Rio 2016: Kia Nurse, women's basketball

Kia Nurse tries to break through Spain’s defence at Rio 2016 on August 14, 2016. (Photo: FIBA)

Canada’s Olympic History

Canada won its only Olympic basketball medal when the sport made its Olympic debut at Berlin 1936. Facing the United States in the final, heavy rain had turned the clay and sand tennis court on which the game was being played into mud, making it difficult to dribble and contributing to the low score, with the Americans winning 19-8 to give Canada silver. The Canadian inventor of the game, James Naismith, presented the medals. Since women’s basketball debuted at Montreal 1976, Canada’s best result was the fourth-place finish at Los Angeles 1984.

3×3 basketball has been part of the Youth Olympic Games program since the inaugural edition at Singapore 2010.

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