Basketball’s fast-paced, half-court 3×3 iteration will make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games with men’s and women’s tournaments featuring eight teams each.
All eight teams compete in a single pool. Each team plays every other team once over the course of four days. If there is a tie in the standings at the end of pool play, it is broken as follows:
- Head-to-head result between the tied teams
- Highest average points scored (without counting winning scores of forfeits)
- Highest seed (based on tour standings)
The top six teams advance to the quarterfinals, with #3 vs #6 and #4 vs #5, while the top two teams get a bye to the semifinal round. The semifinal losers play for the bronze medal, while the winners play for the gold medal.
The game is 10 minutes long (clock stops during dead ball situations and free throws). There is a 12-second shot clock. The first team to score 21 points wins, if it happens before time runs out. Otherwise, the team with more points when time runs out is the winner. If teams are tied when time runs out, a one-minute break will be followed by overtime, in which the first team to score two points will be the winner (teams do not need to win by two).
Free throws and shots made from inside the arc are awarded one point. Shots made from behind the arc are awarded two points.
Players cannot foul out of the game.
Change of possession
The game is played on a half court with one basket. When one team scores, the other team gets the ball. That team’s possession starts by passing or dribbling the ball from inside the court underneath the basket to a place on the court beyond the arc. The same rule applies to the start of a possession following a defensive rebound or steal. If a jumpball situation occurs, possession is awarded to the defense.
Each team has one 30-second time-out per game. Any player or substitute can request a time-out when the ball becomes dead prior to a check-ball or free throw.