As football is to the famous FIFA, so is basketball to FIBA.
Every four years, FIBA organizes a global basketball championship known as the FIBA Basketball World Cup. 24 teams from around the world participate in the tournament.
It’s a big deal.
That’s why I felt the need to compile one badass article that answers all your questions about this championship in an easy to comprehend format.
Let’s dive right in:
The real title of the championship is the FIBA Basketball World Cup. You may also call it the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. And there is also a third name: the FIBA World Cup. And a fourth: the FIBA World Championship.
It is an international competition that involves contests between the men’s national teams of the members of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which is basketball’s global governing body.
The FIBA World Cup was founded in 1950, and is considered FIBA’s flagship event. It is held every four years.
The number of competing teams in previous years has been 24, but starting from 2019 will be 32.
Another name for it is the Basketball World Championship for Women; you can also call it the FIBA Women’s World Cup. The 2014 chapter of this tournament was the last time for it to be called the World Championship for Women.
While the FIBA Basketball World Cup was founded in 1950, the FIBA Women’s World Cup was founded in 1953. It is also held every four years.
From 1986 to 2014, both men’s and women’s championships took place in the same year – but not in the same country.
Surprisingly, only four teams have ever won the FIBA Women’s World Cup. They include: the US (9 times), The Soviet Union (6 times), the Brazil in 1994, and Australia in 2006.
After the 2014 FIBA championships for both men and women, the men’s world cup was started on a new four-year cycle. Instead of taking place in 2018, the FIBA World Cup will take place in 2019.
The city of Beijing, China will host the tournament. It will be the first time since 1967 that the FIBA World Cup does not overlap with the FIFA World Cup – which takes place in 2018.
The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, however, will still take place in 2018, with Spain as the host country..
The team that wins the FIBA World Cup receives the Naismith Trophy, which was first awarded in 1967.
The Naismith Trophy is named for the inventor of basketball, James Naismith. Though a trophy had been planned for since the very first 1950 tournament, it was not until 1965 that FIBA finally commissioned one. This was after it received a donation of US$1000.
That first trophy remained in use from 1967 through 1994. The 1998 tournament used an updated trophy. Today, the original is at the Pedro Ferrándiz in Spain.
The updated trophy has an Egyptian-inspired lotus shape design which has the carved maps of the world’s continents and precious stones which symbolize the five continents (as used in the FIBA qualification process discussed next).
On all four sides of the trophy, Dr. Naismith’s name is engraved in Egyptian, Arabic, Chinese, and Latin. It is 47 centimeters (18.5 inches) tall and weighs 9 kilograms (20 pounds).
A new Naismith Trophy was revealed during the 2019 FIBA World Cup in May 7 2017. It is 60 centimeters high, and comprises almost entirely of gold. The names of previous World Cup champions are featured at its base.
The reigning champions are the United States who unseated Serbia in the 2014 tournament. The United States are also the title-holders of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Teams qualify for the World Cup by taking part in continental competitions.
The continental competitions are as follows:
The defending Olympic champion gets one berth (from the zone of the Olympic champion); the host team gets one birth; and FIBA itself selects 4 wildcards to which it gives berths.
The five continental champions are also the qualification for the Olympics. The berths are determined in the immediate year preceding the World Championship.
After the determination of the first 20 teams, FIBA selects 4 wild card teams, basing its decision on sporting, economic, and governance criteria – each time that will be considered is required to pay a registration fee.
Of the four wild cards, three can come from the same continental zone. The wildcard system has been in operation in two tournaments so far, and in both of these the FIBA board chose the maximum 3 European teams to compete in the event.
For one, the year itself is a major change. Instead of taking place in 2018 as should happen after the elapse of four years following the 2014 World Cup, FIBA decided to change the year order. It therefore pushed the Championship to 2019.
Formerly, all FIBA World Cups coincided with FIFA World Cups. The 2019 tournament will be the first time since 1967 that this does not happen.
Another change is that the continental championships will no longer determine which teams qualify either for the World Cup or the Olympics. FIBA Asia and FIBA Oceania will combine into a single Asia-Pacific qualifying zone.
The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be the 18th tournament, China will be the host. Formerly, the tournament consisted of 24 competing teams, but the 2019 event shall expand this number to 32.
If you are a fan of basketball, you have something to look forward to. The next FIBA World Cup is happening in 2019 Beijing. The USA will be defending its title in the event.
It will be a historic tournament thanks to the several changes that will be implemented in the event. For instance, 32 teams will participate rather than the usual 24.
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