The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will debut the 3v3 style of basketball in the quadrennial competition this summer. The FIBA (International Basketball Committee) has set rules for this style of the sport, and naturally, they are a lot different from the regular 5-on-5 team basketball the world is used to watching.
The scoring tally system, game duration, substitutions and many factors that dictate the game are different. So any player participating in the event must familiarize themselves with the new rules associated with the 3v3 game.
How is 3v3 basketball different from 5-on-5?
For starters, the ball is a different size. Any traditional full-court game is played with a standard size-7 ball, whereas 3v3 basketball is played with a size-6 ball (28.5-inch circumference), the same used for women's full-court games.
So here are a few basic rules that govern 3v3 basketball at the FIBA level or Olympics.
Basic Rules of 3v3 basketball
As suggested by the name itself, '3v3 basketball' consists of only three players in each team on the court, with both teams allowed one substitution apiece. Moreover, the game is played in a half-court instead of a full-court.
Each team is allowed just one timeout, which can be called by players or coaches during a dead-ball situation (prior to free throws or check ball). Timeouts cannot be called during live balls. An unused timeout gets carried over in overtime. However, in FIBA 3v3 official competitions, two TV timeouts are granted at the first dead ball - when the game clock shows 6:59 and 3:59.
Additionally, there is no jump-ball scenario in a half-court system. A coin toss decides which team gets the opening possession. The winner of the coin toss can choose to either start the game or take the first possession of a potential overtime period.
In the case of overtime, the team that started the game in defense gets possession in the overtime period. A check ball is a must before starting the possession.
Playing time in 3v3 basketball.
The game is not played in four quarters but one stretch of ten minutes. The team that gets to 21 points first wins the game. If neither team is able to reach the 21-point mark, the team with the higher point tally at the end of ten minutes wins. the game. There is a one-minute gap between regulation and overtime.
The overtime period ends as soon as a team scores two or more points. Moreover, the shot clock is at 12 seconds instead of 24 seconds, and each timeout is worth 30 seconds only.
Scoring in 3v3 basketball
Each bucket inside the arc is worth one point instead of the usual two. A free throw is also worth one point. Moreover, a traditional three-pointer or a shot from beyond the arc is worth two points instead of three.
The ball needs to be cleared before the bucket can count, i.e. taken beyond the arc, either the ball itself or the player's foot. As mentioned earlier, a check ball is necessary before starting possession, i.e. exchange of the ball between the offensive and defensive player at the top of the key.
Fouls and Penalties in 3v3 basketball
Six fouls are allowed in a game of 3v3 basketball. A foul as a result of unsportsmen-like moves is given as two fouls, also known as a flagrant. There is a penalty of two free throws for the 7th, 8th and 9th fouls. Subsequently, possession is awarded after the 10th foul in addition to two free throws.
Any violation, whether travel or double-dribble, results in a check-ball. Three-second and five-second violations are the same. A 12-second violation is called when a player with a live ball, stalls and doesn't actively play for 12 seconds (not score), also known as a shot-clock violation.