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Electric breaks, fast throws and the full court press – just some of the reasons why basketball never fails to excite at every Olympic Games.

Tokyo 3x3 basketball will be a new addition to the Games, a faster, more dynamic, more open contest that is sure to be one of the highlights for fans who love action fast and furious.

Men’s basketball first appeared on the Olympic programme at the Berlin 1936 Games, with the women’s competition introduced at Montreal 1976. Professional players first competed at Barcelona 1992, when the famous USA ‘Dream Team’ won gold in the men’s event. Since then, American teams consisting of successive generations of NBA stars have grabbed the attention of sports fans worldwide.

3x3 basketball is played by teams of three on a half-court with one basket. Games last 10 minutes or until a team scores 21 points. The three-point line in conventional basketball serves as the two-point line in 3x3 basketball, with shots made outside the line earning two points and those inside it one (free throws also earn a single point).

Top-ranked men’s teams in 3x3 basketball include Serbia, the Russian Federation, while the women’s teams from People’s Republic of China and Ukraine are prominent. However, international rankings in this format of the sport can change quickly, adding to the excitement surrounding its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.