Olympic 3X3 basketball at Tokyo 2020: Top five things to know

Who are the top 3X3 players? When and where will Olympic 3X3 basketball take place? How will the 3X3 tournament work? Find out all about the sport at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021 here.
By ZK Goh

There will be a senior Olympic Games debut for the sport of 3X3 basketball at Tokyo 2020 Olympics being held in July 2021.

After three Youth Olympic Games competitions in the discipline, this street version of basketball – played on a half-court – will form part of the urban sports cluster in the Japanese capital.

Who are the ones to watch? How will the competition work, and where will it take place? Here is our guide to the top things to know about Olympic 3X3 basketball.

Top Olympic 3X3 basketballers at Tokyo 2020

Serbia will be the team to beat in the men's competition. The country has six of the world's top ten ranked men's players, including the world number one Dusan Bulut.

Another strong country is Latvia, who have both Nauris Miezis and Karlis Lasmanis ranked in the top five, but they have yet to qualify for the Games.

The United States' Dominique Jones and Hungary's Tamas Ivosev are the other two non-Serbians in the top ten.

France are one of the favourites in the women's event, with the top three players in the world – Laetitia Guapo, Migna Touré, and Ana Maria Filip all on their squad.

Look out too for China..

Olympic 3X3 basketball schedule at Tokyo 2020

Competition will take place from 24 July to 28 July 2021, with both men's and women's matches being played on the same days.

Pool play ends on 27 July, with the quarter-finals on the same day.

The semi-finals and medal matches for each event will take place on 28 July.

Olympic 3X3 basketball venue at Tokyo 2020

At Tokyo 2020, 3X3 basketball will be one of the urban sports being held at the Aomi Urban Sports Park, alongside sport climbing. It will boast spectacular views across Tokyo Bay.

A temporary venue that will be built for the Games, it will also host 5-a-side Paralympic football.

Olympic 3X3 basketball competition format at Tokyo 2020

Held on a half-court, the winner of each match is the first team to 21 points. One point is awarded for each shot made inside the three-point line, and two points for each shot from outside. If teams are tied after 10 minutes of play, the first team to score two points in overtime wins.

The men's and women's tournaments will both feature eight teams. The exact pool play format has not yet been announced, but the schedule suggests teams will play in a single pool of eight, playing seven round-robin games each.

The top two teams from each pool will qualify directly for the semi-finals on 28 July, with the next four teams in each tournament playing in the quarter-finals on 27 July.

Olympic 3X3 basketball history

This discipline of basketball has never appeared at a senior Olympic Games.

It has made three appearances at the Youth Olympic Games, where it got its first major international exposure at the inaugural edition, Singapore 2010.

Serbia, Lithuania, and Argentina have won the three Youth Olympic gold medals in the men's tournament, while China and the United States (twice) have won the women's YOG tournaments.