Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 at 12:00 pm  |  41 responses

International Ball to Start Looking a Lot Like the NBA

by Marcel Mutoni

Following the Beijing Games, there should no longer be any doubt as to where the best brand of basketball is found. The superstars of the NBA made sure of that by winning the Gold in exceedingly convincing fashion.

And now, the rest of the world will try to emulate the NBA game – at least when it comes to the look of the court.

From the NY Times:

But in two years, the trapezoid will be dead, the arc will be a little deeper and the international game will be a bit closer in style to the N.B.A.’s. The lane will become a rectangle, emulating the United States model. The arc will move to 6.75 meters (22.1 feet) — closer to the N.B.A. standard of 22 feet 9 inches — from 6.25 meters (20.5 feet).

The changes were among several adopted, to little fanfare, by the International Basketball Federation, known as FIBA, in April. The new rules take effect after the world championships in 2010, so they will be in place for the 2012 Olympics in London.

USA Basketball officials are understandably happy with FIBA’s decision to tinker with the geometry of the playing surface, as this gives players on this continent even less excuses now to skip out on international play.

No word yet if international squads will be required to significantly increase their visits to the tattoo parlor in order to meet NBA standards.

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  • Static

    First…its about time

  • k.o.

    bout time. et premiere.

  • k.o.


  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Hip hip hooray.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    What happens if the NBA decides to change the rules again?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Wonder why it took this long?

  • Richard Jefferson – Verified Athlete

    can someone explain to me why our method wasnt used in the first place?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    The NBA doesn’t change rules. What are you dense?

  • Static

    nah they’re just amendments…NOW will the international refs start calling 3 secs?

  • Jackie Moon

    So is Tim Duncan in for 2012?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo


  • matt the jazz fan

    in another development, fiba also added that they’d continue not to call travelling, ever, to make european basketball closer to the nba.

  • scott

    I actually enjoyed the pace and the play of international basketball.

  • Oli

    those are steps in the right direction. how long will it take to pull the 3-point line back to nba distance?

  • http://asternwarning.blogspot.com mookie

    The question remains, did FIBA decide this was good for the game, or did they feel pushed?

  • Captain America

    Question: if the Oly is getting more like the NBA, is there a need for the Oly BB?

  • peteb80

    I guess cities, schools etc. won’t be to keen on paying for a new paint job for the courts, so I expect it will take at least 15 years before the new courts will be a regular sight here in Europe.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    did fiba decide on their own, or did stern give em a nudge?

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    How long will it take to get rid of the 3 point line altogether?

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    I got this memo a week ago (in charge of my team’s site and all comms.), during the olympics and found it ironic that everyone was discussing FIBA / NBA differences when obviously someone, well Darth Stern, has made that argument moot as of 2011. Europe, say hi to more difficult closeouts, better spacing for drives etc. etc. The one rule i absolutely HATE is the one stipulating that a player on a breakaway can not be touched or disrupted from behind or the side on once airborne, if he/she is, a flagrant should be awarded. Whattt? So Tayshaun’s famous “get out of here” blocks would result in flagrants here in europe. Stoooopid.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    why not move the 3 pt line all the way to match the NBA?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Darksaber: They are saying the player themselves cannot be touched, but the ball can be blocked from behind.

  • b55

    nba 3pt distance is 23’9″ (and around 22 feet at the sidelines where it’s a straight line)

  • ciolkstar

    this is off topic but: did anyone else catch the Elite 24 highschool game at the Rucker? This dude John Wall had two
    russel westbrook-style ridiculous slams. Dude is a fearless athelete and has some nice skills to boot. Overall, the talent in that game was scary.

  • drew


  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    That’s right, world, you conform to us!

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Darksaber: isn’t that the same way in the NBA? Clear path foul. Right?

  • ciolkstar

    I think a huge difference that no one mentions is the overall size of the court. FIBA courts are a couple ffet shorter and almost a foot narrower than NBA courts. With such big atheletic bodies roaming the floor, that little bit of difference( along with the short 3) really disrupts the natural spacing of the NBA game. It also increases the imprtance of passing the ball in close quarters and tends to make atheleticism less of an advantage 9at times), while zone defenses are more effective b/c closeouts are much shorter. FIBA is just trying to get closer to NBA rules to facilitae increased club team competition from NBA teams/US national teams.

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    It’s possible Jukai, i’m not sure what it’s called in the Nba guys, but thanks for clearing things up for me. I don’t even take issue with a foul being called on contact but to award a flagrant on contact, that’s a bit harsh. Undercutting or an intentional foul not aimed at the ball? Sure, but going for the ball, but getting skin contact while trying shouldn’t result in a flagrant. I just hope the refs use common sens… oh who am i kidding?

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    About time. Why not make a world wide rule set, and court dimensions while we’re at it. Would make it so much easier for the sport to challenge football in the long run.

  • The Promise


  • ace

    I see one BIG problem with this rule. That is that fiba rules apply to every level of play in europe, which means that even in the kids leagues thw 3-point line will be like this. Just imagine 10 year olds trying to jack up 3′s from that distance. ridicolous. But on the senior level it’s very positive not so much for the youth, they need to make to rule sets like in USA, even in college they have different rules from the nba. I think 10 year old european kids should have that too..

  • http://slamonline.com Deno

    We need to get real highlander on this one! There can only be one way to hoop! The way the best play!

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics/ Moose

    so now team usa needs to get more big men because there will be a helluva lot more time in the paint with the smaller key.

  • LA Huey

    @ ace
    10 yr olds shouldn’t be jacking up threes. FUNdamentals first.

  • The Last Kings Fan

    Isn’t the NBA three 23’9, not 22? Maybe I’m wrong but I thought it was.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Ricky Rubio is all class…

  • Born n raised in da country of Dade


  • cozz

    oh that is so gay: how are 10,11,12,13 year olds going to shoot 22 feet threes? it’s ridiculous and expensive, and will nullify any advantage teams might have over the USA. Not to mention any chance of teams getting an offensive rebound off free throws.

  • bja

    Now the NBA needs to adopt the international goaltending rule.

  • maio

    The 3 pt line has been in effect since 1984 (FIBA) and some gyms still don’t have it.
    They should make the court wider, too.