3×3 Basketball:

  • became a formal basketball discipline in 2007
  • is considered no. 1 urban team sport
  • is exciting and innovative with a rich origin on streets and playgrounds
  • is regulated by FIBA (the International Basketball Federation)
  • is set to debut at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and 2022 Commonwealth Games
  • has almost one million registered athletes
  • has world competitions in which 182 countries and regions participate
  • is simple and flexible enough to be played anywhere by anybody. All you need is a hoop, a half-court and six players.

3×3 is known for its highly entertaining atmosphere with games being played at iconic locations in the city centers, while DJs and music help create an energizing and urban atmosphere. Since 2012, FIBA has organized multiple events such as FIBA 3×3 World Cups and European Cups which are contested among nations while the FIBA 3×3 World Tour is club based. In 2017, 3×3 was added to Olympic program for the 2020 Olympic Games.

One Sport, Two Disciplines:

3×3 has not been around long as a formal and professional game, even though it has a rich origin on streets and playgrounds. In the past, the streetball format of three players per side using one basket was fondly called “21” or “three-on-three.” Despite the fact 3×3 shares a lot with streetball and traditional basketball, it is important to not equate this new Olympic discipline with either one. Traditional basketball is a game of five players a side on two baskets governed by FIBA from 1932 and streetball is an informal variation of basketball usually played on outdoor courts. 3×3 on the other hand, a game of three players a side on one basket, regulated by FIBA from 2007, is a formal stand-alone basketball discipline by own merits and was never a sub-product of the original format.


 3×3 Basketball Rules:

Here are the most basic rules of this fast-paced and exciting game.

  • 3×3 is played with two teams on one basket.
  • Each team consists of four players – three on the court and one substitute.
  • The game lasts 10 minutes.
  • A coin flip determines which team will start the game with possession.
  • Team with the higher score at the end of regulation time wins.
  • ”Sudden death” rule: The first team to score 21 points or more wins the game if it happens before the end of regular playing time (this is not relevant to overtime).
  • Overtime is played if the game is tied after 10 minutes. The first team to score 2 points in overtime wins.
  • There is a 12-second offensive shot clock and stalling play is a violation.
  • Every shot inside the two-point arc or a free throw is worth one point while shots outside the two-point arc are worth two points.
  • There is no personal foul bonus due to the physical nature of the 3×3 game. However, the team will enter the penalty situation after the 6th foul. Team fouls 7, 8, and 9 will result in one free throw for the opposing team but the 10th foul and up will result in two free throws and ball possession.
  • After a made field goal or free throw, a player from a non-scoring team shall resume the game by dribbling or passing the ball from inside the court directly underneath the basket to a place on the court behind the two-point arc (”clearing the ball”). This is also the case after grabbing defensive rebounds or getting steals and blocks inside the two-point arc. However, the team on offense can try multiple times to score inside without having to clear the ball out.
  • Every possession starts inside the court! There is no inbounding the ball.
  • The offensive team starts possession at the top and middle of the 2-point arc after every dead ball situation. The ball is live after a check-ball (ie. exchange of the ball) is complete.
  • The defensive team automatically gets a possession after a jump ball situation is forced.
  • In-game coaching is not allowed.
  • The 3×3 ball, used in all competitions, is unique and different that of the standard ball used in the men’s full-court game.
  • 3×3, also referred to as the “10-minute sprint,” is always played in a tournament form where each team play mulitiple games at the event. A team can play a minimum of two and, in some cases, even seven or eight games in a day!
  • The official 3×3 rules and their biggest differences from traditional basketball’s are explored in detail in the book.

This book will be of particular interest to those readers who are new to 3×3 and are looking for a basic yet complete breakdown of the sport. The information in the book is also relevant to those readers who are already familiar with 3×3 but are looking to gain a better understanding. The author brings his expertise to the book, so no matter who is reading, that person is guaranteed to come away an expert on 3×3 basketball.