March 2, 2022


3 min read

3x3 basketball model kicks off

3x3 basketball model kicks off

Local basketball player, Lerato Motipi receives a gold medal

Story highlights

  • Every player ends up with the ball given the chaotic nature of the game
  • The sport is gaining popularity as an international activity

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A total of 40 basketball players - both male and female – participated in the 3x3 playoffs here in a bid to experiment with the newly introduced basketball model as part of a number of tournaments to prepare national players for international competitions.

Dubbed the “3x3 Tournament” held at the Ha Ratjomose Barracks sport grounds last week Saturday, jerseys, headbands and gold medals were awarded to the best performing players in two categories - the under 18 and the seniors.

The Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) public relations officer, Molupe Ratšolo said the 3x3 basketball was a variation of basketball featuring two teams of three players plus a substitute competing in a half-court set-up with one basketball hoop.

He said there were also specific rules of the game which set it apart from the standard 5x5 basketball played on a full court.
“Three on three basketball is a new iteration of basketball that is gaining popularity at a very rapid rate and regarded as an international sport,” Ratšolo said.

“Its advantages over the 5x5 basketball include that every player is involved in action, and every player ends up with the ball in their hands given the chaotic nature of the game. This shows players must get better to do things they want at high speed and level.”
He said the benefit of adopting 3X3 as a competition model was that more highly skilled players would be produced due to increased number of touches, decisions and actions players were involved in.

“It is also cheaper to operate on a per-head basis for sporting organisations to deliver because you won't need to travel with a large team to competitions,” Ratšolo added.

He said the games formed part of a series of tourneys to follow, which are aimed at helping players to grow their game and ensure they were ready for international competitions including the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 games (AUSC).

The 9th edition of the AUSC Region 5 Youth Games 2020 took place in Maseru in December, with 10 countries participating in various sporting codes such as athletics, boxing, basketball, netball, football, tennis, swimming, judo and volleyball.
The participating countries included Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Angola, Mozambique Eswatini, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
A brief history shows that the 3x3 basketball began in cities and towns across the United States as a street game. This unique style of basketball began as informal pickup games in urban and suburban communities.

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It requires little to start a 3x3 basketball game: six players, a ball, and half a basketball court at a local playground, high school, or recreational centre.  

During the 2000s, 3x3 basketball became the focus of state and national competitions for amateur players of all ages and skill levels.

The success of these national competitions spurred the world’s basketball governing body, the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) to experiment with its own 3x3 tournaments.

FIBA launched the first 3x3 World Tour and World Cups in 2012.

The addition of 3x3 basketball to several major international competitions, including the European Games in 2015, led to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) announcing in 2017 that 3x3 basketball for both men’s and women’s teams would be part of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.


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