The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as FIBA, FIBA World, or FIBA International (/ˈfiːbə/ FEE-bə), from its French name Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball, is an association of national organizations which governs international competition in basketball. Originally known as the Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball amateur (hence FIBA), in 1989 it dropped the word amateur from its official name but retained the acronym; the “BA” now represents the first two letters of basketball.
FIBA defines the international rules of basketball, specifies the equipment and facilities required, regulates the transfer of athletes across countries, and controls the appointment of international referees. A total of 213 national federations are now members, organized since 1989 into five zones or “commissions”: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup is a world tournament for men’s national teams held every four years. Teams compete for the Naismith Trophy, named in honor of basketball’s Canadian creator James Naismith. The tournament structure is similar but not identical to that of the FIFA World Cup in football; these tournaments occurred in the same year from 1970 through 2014, but starting in 2019, the Basketball World Cup will move to the year following the FIFA World Cup. A parallel event for women’s teams, the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, is also held quadrennially; from 1986 through 2014, it was held in the same year as the men’s event but in a different country. The women’s tournament will continue to be held in the same year as the FIFA World Cup.
In 2009 FIBA announced three new tournaments: two 12-team U-17 World Championships (one each for men and women) to be played in July 2010, and an eight-team FIBA World Club Championship to be launched in October 2010. However, the FIBA World Club Championship did not materialize. In its place, FIBA instead relaunched its original world club championship for men, the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, in 2013.
The newest worldwide FIBA tournaments for national teams are in the three-player half-court variation, 3×3. The FIBA 3×3 U-18 World Championships were inaugurated in 2011, and the FIBA 3×3 World Championships for senior teams followed a year later. All events include separate tournaments for men’s, women’s, and mixed teams. The U-18 championships, held annually, feature 32 teams in each individual tournament. The senior championships have 24 teams in each individual tournament, and are held in even-numbered years.