Understanding FIBA’s New Competition System in 2017

(Image from FIBA)
We will have a new era for basketball, and it starts next year. FIBA has greenlit a new competition calendar that starts next year and culminates in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup that will be payed in China (but should’ve been played in Manila ✌️). 

This new format is still murky and unclear for a lot of people, so here’s something provided by FIBA to kind of make things a little easier to digest. 

The following first appeared on FIBA.com.

The New Competition System as of 2017

The new FIBA Calendar and Competition System from 2017 onwards opens a new era for basketball all over the world - one which features 1,680 top players during 1,200 national teams games and millions of fans all around the globe.

Key Changes

The FIBA Basketball World Cup has been moved to 2019, then every four years (2023, 2027, 2031, etc.), avoiding the clash with other major sporting events (particularly, the FIFA World Cup).

There is a two-year qualification period for each FIBA Basketball World Cup: six windows per qualification period (Nov, Feb, June, Sept, Nov, Feb).

For the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, these windows are:
November 2017
February 2018
June 2018
September 2018
November 2018
February 2019.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup will be played with 32 teams (1 Host, 5 from Africa, 7 from Americas, 7 from Asia/Oceania, and 12 from Europe).

The qualification for the Olympic Games (e.g. the 2020 Tokyo Olympics) will be through the FIBA Basketball World Cup and four Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (probably right after the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup and/or in early 2020).

Teams from Asia and Oceania will play together in an Asia-Pacific region to ensure competitive games (I like this because Asian teams will be more constantly exposed to an increased level of competition).

All Continental Cups will follow a four-year cycle (2017, 2021, 2025 etc.) instead of the “old way” of having them every two years:
- Starting right after the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the qualification for Continental Cups in 4 Regions will begin. 
- In Asia, for instance, this will determine which teams will move up to Division A and which ones will be relegated to Division B. Division A will have 14 Asian teams plus Australia and New Zealand. The rest of the Asian teams will be in Division B.
- There will be 4 windows beginning in November 2019, then February and November 2020 and February 2021.
- After the 2021 Continental Cups, the four year cycle (2021-2025) begins once again with the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers beginning in November 2021.

The growth of national team basketball in any country needs to be promoted. 

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 tournaments.

Opportunity for new countries and players to emerge through regular official games.

All-year regular visibility of the national team — not only in summer time – creating synergies with club competitions.

Improved structure of lead-up to flagship national team tournaments: Clear “Road to” the main FIBA competitions.

Enhanced potential for commercial and media partners to be associated with the national teams and the main FIBA competitions.

Development of National Federations, giving them own assets, new tools, and more resources.

Increased media exposure and promotion for national team basketball – generating benefits across all FIBA Zones.

Ther was very limited visibility for most national teams in their home countries.

National team competitions in selected host countries took place ONLY in the summer.

There was hardly any easy-to-follow qualification system throughout the 5 continental zones.

There was hardly any lead-up (“Road to”) to the flagship national team competitions because of the large gaps without games.

Unlike other team sports, there were no official regular home games for all national teams.

The future participation of the best players to national team flagship tournaments was constantly questionable.

There was very limited development potential for most of the National Federations - as the same countries play and win the major competitions.

There was too much “wear and tear” for the international players competing every summer at the end of the club season.

The economic viability of the old system was constantly at risk in a changing environment as other sports are improving their position.

Download the full "FIBA Competition System & Calendar 2017+" brochure here. 

Watch the video explanation here:




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