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    July 26, 2006

    How To... Organize a 3x3 Basketball Tournament

    Welcome to the world of 3x3 basketball! 3x3 basketball is a relatively new modification to the sport that is growing in popularity every year. While already being the most popular sport in the world, 3x3 is bringing in more and more people who can play this modified form of basketball!


    Three-on-three uses the same principles and concepts of regulation 5-on-5 basketball, except that it is played on a half-court with only six players on the floor.  This form of basketball allows the more recreational type of athlete to stay involved with this great sport!

    The following guide can be used to direct your group in hosting a successful 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

    EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST (needed for every ½ court)
    1. One regulation basketball (size 5 for boys & girls, ages 9 and under (also called “mini ball); Size 6 for girls under 17 years old; boys 13 and under (also called “small ball” or “women’s ball”); Size 7 for girls over 18; boys 14+ (also called “regular ball” or “men’s ball”)
    2. Recommend that you use an indoor/outdoor or rubber basketball.  Leather or synthetic balls will deteriorate quickly with outdoor use.
    3. Flip-card scoring unit – can be either purchased or hand made
    4. 3 on 3 scoresheet
    5. Working pen and clipboard – use a string to tie the pen to the board
    6. Copy of official tournament rules
    7. Stocked medical/first aid kit
    8. Ice on hand with bags – store in ice cooler or use instant ice packs – plan to have a lot on hand!
    9. Tournament Schedule (see samples)
    10. Tournament Result Board
    1. Ideal 3 on 3 court size:    40 feet x 40 feet
    2. Basket heights: 10’ for all participants over 10 years old; 8 ½’ for boys & girls under 10 years old (if possible) - Measure heights from the back of the rim
    3. Three-point line - 19’9” radius measured from the centre of the rim outwards
    4. Free throw line - 15’ measured from the front of the backboard outwards (13’ for participants under 10 years old)
    5. Take Back Line - 22’ measured from the back of the rim outward
    6. For more, see FIBA Official Court Layout

    Each referee and/or court monitor must be provided with a clipboard, 3-on-3 scoresheets, pen, tournament rules and your tournament schedule.
    1. Recommend one referee per ½ court to officiate the games and to keep score.  If available, two officials should be used for semi-finals and finals.
    2. If no referee available, you must have a “Court Monitor” to score keep and keep games on time.
    3. Last resort would have players call their own game.
    4. Encourage referees to bring a whistle, gray referee shirt, sunblock, water bottle and hat (if outside)
    5. Ensure the referees are aware of the tournament rules and procedures well in advance of the games.  A Tournament Organizer must be available at the tournament at all times.
    Referee Responsibilities:    
    • Ensure all games begin and end on time
    • Keep time (30 Minutes, running time)
    • Keep score (1 point per basket & free throws, 2 for outside the arc) on the provided scoresheet.
    • Act as the final decision maker when the players cannot reach one.  The CM’s decision is final!
    • Keep your CM’s up-to-date on timelines, tournament rules, locations, etc.

    Use the following guide to schedule your tournament.  All examples guarantee three games.  Feel free to modify to your own needs.

    • Time Requirement:   Allow 30 minutes, running time per game
    • Do not schedule more than two games back to back for teams – allow for breaks to avoid overexertion, fatigue and injury.
    1. Gender (male or female) - if a team is co-ed, place them into the male division
    2. Present Age - take the average age of the team – add all team members ages; divide by number of team members
    3. Height - take the average height of the team – add all team members height; divide by number of team members
    4. Ability - on the team entry form, ask for playing experience or frequency of participation (daily, weekly, monthly, never, etc.)

    • Sun block – at least SPF 15 (if played outdoors)
    • Ice – important for injuries and keeping cool
    • Cold water / liquids – avoid soft drinks – cold water is the best
    • Hat – prevent sun stroke and sunburn
    • Sunglasses – with UV protection
    • Stocked medical / first aid kit
    • Emergency phone numbers / directions to hospitals

    Basketball is a very inexpensive sport to operate.  There is however costs that any event must deal with.  The following items should be considered when budgeting for your event

    1. Site / gym / portable hoop rental
    2. Equipment (see page 1) (balls, clipboards, pens, etc.)
    3. Referee / Court Monitor payment
    4. Photocopying / administration
    5. Promotion (posters, mailing, faxing, long distance phone calls)
    6. Medical / first aid supplies
    7. Others! – there are always expenses listed as “other”… be prepared for them!
    1. Tournament entry fee
    2. Sponsors / suppliers
    3. Funding / grants / donations
    4. Other? (be creative!)
    • Music playing
    • Public address system – announcements, presentations
    • Three-point shooting contest
    • Free throw shooting contest
    • Slam dunk competition
    • Participant T-shirts & other give aways
    1. Distribute information to area schools
    2. Media release
    3. Basketball Manitoba's web site 
    4. Social Media - create a specif account for the event
    5. Contact past participants
    6. Contact regional Sport Associations
    7. Develop poster or brochures
    1. Be sure to clean the playing surface (indoor & outdoor) to ensure a safe playing environment for all.
    2. Use the above guides to make the appropriate court lines.  You can use either a durable tape indoors or a non-permanent paint outside.  Be sure that the tape you put down won’t damage the floor when removed.
    3. Have extra balls on hand to replace ones either lost or stolen (it happens!).
    4. Get some volunteers to help! – contact participant’s parents, friends etc.
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    1. Hi

      would we need to sort out some kind of insurance for participants?

      1. Yes Basketball Manitoba would have an option for that. Best to contact Adam Wedlake in the above contact dropdown link for a quote. Also send us your 3on3 info so we can help promote it for you.


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