The FIBA Basketball World Cup is an international competition which is also the FIBA World Cup. Senior Men’s National teams which are members of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) take part in this contest. The event is held every four years, specifically in years immediately following the Summer Olympics (Triennially in the early years).
The structure of the competition is more or less like the FIFA Football World Cup, although not the same. Collaterally, the women’s event FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup is also held quadrennially and in the same year. In this format of the tournament, 32 teams compete for the title.
History Of The Basketball World Cup
Going back to its history, the tournament was first held in 1948 in Summer Olympics held in London. It was then a desire of FIBA Secretary-General Renato William Jones to begin a world championship for this discipline. Looking at the success of the 23-teams tournament in the Olympics, FIBA Congress agreed to the proposal.
The Congress decided to begin a championship in 1950, selecting Argentina to host the event. Hosting the event and having the home advantage, Argentina has all its matches on way to win the title. The first five tournaments in South America was ruled by the American teams. However, teams from Eastern Europe (The Soviet Union) and Southeast Europe (Yugoslavia) started catching up by 1963. Between 1963 and 1990, teams like The United States, The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Brazil dominated the contest.
After 2014, FIBA brought some significant changes expanding from 24 to 32 teams. Also, to avoid overlapping with the FIFA World Cup, the next edition was in 2019.
Qualification For Participation
During the tournament’s early years, the participation was mainly invitational. However, Asia began a continental championship in 1960 which was later in Africa, Central America, and Oceania. As a result, the qualification criteria became more ritualized since 1967. In 1970, the African and Oceanian champions had a berth each with the Centrobasket champion and runner-up. From 1970 to 2014, qualifications were based on the results of continental championships and the Olympics.
FIBA AfroBasket and FIBA Asia Cup received 3 berths each, while FIBA EuroBasket received 6 berths. Other than this, 5 berths and 2 berths were for FIBA AmerCup and FIBA Oceania Championship respectively. Additionally, defending Olympic champion and host team had a berth each, while 4 berths are for Wild Card Entries. However, things changed in 2019 when FIBA America and Asia-Pacific received 7 berths each. FIBA Europe received 12 berths, FIBA Africa, and the host team secured 5 berths and 1 berth respectively.
Format Of The Basketball World Cup
Throughout the years, this tournament has gone through various types of formats. Starting with 10 teams in 1950, it expanded up to 24 teams and then further to 32 teams. The tournaments have witnessed double-elimination, six-team round-robin leagues, single-elimination knock-out round, and other different formats. Quarterfinal, semi-final, and final are among the top 8 teams, and the semi-final losers play for the third place. Furthermore, the quarter-final losers play among themselves for fifth to eighth place.