3x3 Women's Basketball Is The Olympic Sport To Get Excited About

3x3 Women's Basketball Is The Olympic Sport To Get Excited About

At this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of the rules of basketball. But in 2020, the Olympics debuted a new sport called 3X3 basketball, which looks a little different from what you’re seeing on the court during March Madness.

3x3, which has its roots in street basketball, has evolved over time from outdoor courts to Olympic stadiums, per the organization. But what is 3X3 basketball and who are the big stars to watch at the 2024 Olympics? Here’s what you need to know.

How does 3x3 basketball work?

3X3 basketball is played on half of a standard basketball court and features two teams of three players, according to Olympics.com. Both teams will attack and defend the same hoop, depending on who has possession of the ball. The winner of the tame is the team that has the highest score after 10 minutes, or the first team to reach 21 points.

The game has a 12-second shot clock and play is continuous, as teams “clear” the ball behind the two-point line after a basket, defensive rebound, or steal, USA Basketball explains.

How is it different from regular basketball?

There are a few key differences in 3X3 basketball and regular basketball. 3X3 is played on the half court, and the games are much shorter—10 minutes, compared to four 12-minute quarters in a regular basketball game.

Scoring is slightly different, too. The three-point line in regular basketball is a two-point line in 3X3 basketball, with shots outside the line earning two points and those inside it one.

In regular basketball, there are five players on each team on the court at once. In 3X3, there are three.

"Although 3X3 games are shorter, 3X3 players need to demonstrate just as much flexibility, skill, and anticipation as 5x5 players, as well as arguably superior endurance," the Olympics explain.

Who won the women’s 3x3 basketball competition in the 2020 Olympics?

Team USA won the women’s 3x3 basketball competition in the 2020 Olympics, which were held in 2021 due to the pandemic, according to USA Basketball. The winning team included WNBA players Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum, and Jackie Young. They defeated the Russian Olympic Committee 18-15 in the final.

Will Team USA participate in 3x3 basketball in the 2024 Olympics?

Yes, the Team USA women will participate in 3X3 basketball at the 2024 Olympics. The women’s team automatically earned a spot after having second place standings in FIBA’s 3x3 Federation Ranking system, according to USA Basketball.

Jennifer Rizzotti, president of the Connecticut Sun, will coach the 2024 USA 3x3 Women’s National Team in Paris, per USA Basketball.

Who is on Team USA's Women's National Team?

The lineup hasn't been announced yet. But four big names won't be on the roster.

Under new Olympic rules for 3×3 eligibility, the U.S. team from Tokyo of WNBA stars Kelsey Plum, Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, and Jackie Young would not be able to defend their gold medals as a team, as none of them are ranked in the top 10 in the U.S., per The Athletic.

Who are the women’s 3x3 basketball stars to watch?

WNBA players can play 3X3 basketball in the Olympics, and this year’s team is expected to be another excellent one. The women’s roster hasn’t been announced yet, but may include players who don’t make the traditional basketball team if they have 3X3 experience, NBC Olympics reports.

While the official team has yet to be announced, the list of players who were invited to attend Team USA's training camp was revealed in late March. It includes stars like Caitlin Clark, Brittney Griner, and Kelsey Plum, who was part of the women's winning team in 2020. The American women's national team will be selected from this list of players.

Go Team USA!

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