Not easy to adopt basketball in Youth Olympics: Rogge

August 24th, 2010 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Singapore, Aug 24 (DPA) Jacques Rogge announced himself as a fan of the new three-on-three basketball format featured in the current Singapore inaugural Youth Olympic Games.
However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president said it was not easy to adopt for real Olympic Games due to the limitations of the event.

“Three-on-three is definitely an exciting format but there is one issue at the Olympic Games, and that is that we have a limited number of athletes,” the Singapore Game’s official news service Tuesday quoted Rogge as saying.

“If we let the Games grow without limit, then they will be too costly, too difficult to organise and that will create problems,” Rogge added.

“I’m not saying three-on-three will not come into the program, I’m saying the difficulty is the number of athletes,” said the IOC president.

The IOC is debuting several new formats at the Youth Olympics, a brainchild of Rogge, including three-on-three basketball, a mixed team triathlon relay and mixed swimming relays.

The Singapore premiere of the new basketball half-court format aroused excitement with athletes, coaches and spectators alike.

The format is called FIBA 33, combining the sport’s governing body French acronym Federation Internationale de Basketball and the game’s basic rule that teams play two five-minute periods or until a team scores 33 points.

“It is a very exciting event, I like the format very much,” said Rogge.

“The rules are clear, there is suspense and the 33 point rule is a very good one because it brings it to a climax and obviously the players love it,” he added.

FIBA president Bob Elphinston said there were already plans afoot how to build the format for the international stage, with the Olympic Games as a long-term goal.

“We’re looking to see how we can develop FIBA 33 on a world basis,” he said according to the news service, noting that he believed 2020 would be the earliest possible Olympic Games to see three-on-three basketball as part of the competition.

“We … want to create FIBA 33 as a separate discipline, not dissimilar to what we see at the Olympic Games with volleyball, in that we have beach volleyball and we have volleyball,” said Elphinston.

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