The growth of national team basketball needs to be promoted in all countries

The men's national team competition system offers a clear structure and hierarchy of the competitions at a global level, is more player-friendly and easier for fans to understand. The regular games of national teams year-round bring more opportunities for increased media coverage and promotion, creating synergies with club competitions and enhancing the commercial potential of basketball.

Main Benefits

  • Improved basketball exposure: More than 140 countries playing - 1,250 regular and meaningful games.
  • New interest for basketball: Regular official national team games in front of their home fans.
  • Player-friendly system with one free summer: Maximizes the chance of having international stars in the flagship FIBA competitions.
  • Opportunity for new countries and players to emerge through regular official games.
  • Year-round regular visibility of the national team, not only in the summertime - creating synergies with club competitions.
  • Improved structure of lead-up to flagship national team competitions: Clear "Road to" the main FIBA tournaments.
  • Enhanced potential for commercial and media partners to be associated with the national teams and the main FIBA competitions.
  • Development of National Federations by providing them with their own assets, new tools and more resources.
  • Increased media exposure and promotion for national team basketball - generating benefits across all FIBA Zones.

Key Changes Introduced in 2017

  • The FIBA Basketball World Cup moved from 2018 to 2019 and then held every four years (2023, 2027, 2031, etc.) to avoid clashing with other major sporting events.
  • Two-year qualification period for each FIBA Basketball World Cup: 6 windows per qualification period (Nov, Feb, June, Sept, Nov, Feb).
  • FIBA Basketball World Cup played with 32 teams. 
  • Qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games through the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and 4 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in 2021.
  • Asia and Oceania play together in an Asia Region to ensure competitive games.
  • The next FIBA Basketball World Cup will take place in 2023 and is to be hosted for the first time over 3 host nations - the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. Qualification for this event will commence in November 2021.

Why the changes?

  • No visibility of national teams in their home countries.
  • National team competitions in selected host countries taking place ONLY in the summer.
  • No easy-to-follow qualification system throughout the 5 continental zones.
  • No lead-up ("Road to") to the flagship national team competitions - long periods of time without games.
  • Unlike other team sports, no official regular home games for all national teams.
  • Future participation of the best players in national team flagship competitions questionable.
  • No development potential for most of the National Federations as the same countries play and win the major competitions.
  • Too much "wear and tear" for national team players competing every summer at the end of the club season.
  • Economic viability of the current system at risk in a changing environment as other sports are improving their position.

Players First

  • FIBA's competition structure and calendar has been designed to not only enable basketball to achieve its full potential but also benefit players by reducing their workload.
  • Under the old system, top players could find themselves in year-round action with national team commitments to fulfil after the demanding club season had finished.
  • Basketball is all about the players. It is their exciting talents that fill arenas, pull TV audiences, generate revenues and inspire youngsters to play. 
  • Now players can look forward to a full summer off every four years with no national team competitions to play in. Additionally, they will have at least a full month off in the years of the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Continental Cups.
  • FIBA concludes that this format, introduced in 2017, to qualify for major tournaments will result in a clear reduction on players' workload, with the average worldwide measured at 26%. This is because of a reduction in the preparation time required for qualifying games.
  • Critically this will have the impact of reducing the risk of injury, a major concern for FIBA and players alike.