MIES, Switzerland - FIBA's Central Board held its first meeting of 2017 on Friday-Saturday 27-28 January at the House of Basketball and it proved an extremely productive two days with a number of major decisions taken as well as a wealth of information shared.
New Competition System
The Board was brought up to speed on the most recent developments leading up to the launch of the New Competition System in November, which will open a new era for basketball worldwide.
A total of 79 workshops were held across FIBA's five regions last year to present the New Competition System to National Member Federations that could play in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers. More workshops with National Member Federations and Regional Offices will take place in the first quarter of 2017.
FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019
The Board received an update on preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and the latest promotional activities planned to be staged over the next two years in the build-up to FIBA’s flagship competition. It also confirmed that the Draw for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers will be held in the Chinese city of Guangzhou on 7 May 2017.
National Federations Development
As part of the National Federations Development project, the Board was informed that 166 of its Members had so far been visited. The remaining visits will be carried out in the coming months.
Following each visit, a customised development strategy is proposed to the National Federation, with the aim of implementing concrete development tools and programmes in conjunction with local basketball stakeholders and authorities. FIBA's Regional Offices are responsible for the implementation of the strategy on the ground with each national basketball governing body concerned.
Official Basketball Rules
After initiating a revision process of the headgear rule (Article 4.4.2) of the Official Basketball Rules in September 2014, the Board received a report on the impact of the exceptions applied on a domestic level during a two-year period. It favoured a modification of the rule and issued a mandate for the Technical Commission to come forward with a proposal that would allow headgear to be worn safely by athletes. This will be presented to the Mid-Term Congress in May.
The Board also approved changes to FIBA's Internal Regulations in relation to FIBA’s New Competition System and to 3x3.
The Board received a report on the latest developments in the Brazilian Basketball Federation (CBB ) which has been suspended by FIBA since November 2016 and supported the recommendations made by the Executive Committee to extend invitations and organise a meeting with all Brazilian basketball stakeholders. The meeting is set to take place on Friday 3 February.
Officials Licensing 2017+
The Board was presented with the new regulatory framework for the licensing of game officials, which looks to make the most of the opportunities presented by the New Competition system.
This will be achieved by:
- Encouraging long-term planning and Referee development programmes in all FIBA regions and National Federations;
- Enhancing the involvement and training of female referees;
- Engaging more National Federations in the planning, management and training of officials;
- Promoting young potential referees.
The Board confirmed that a Mid-Term Congress will be staged from 3-5 May in Hong Kong or Macau, where National Member Federations will also participate in workshops covering three major topics: FIBA’s New Competition System, 3x3 and the Development of National Federations. From there, delegations of the National Federations can travel to Guangzhou to attend the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers Draw.
The financial statements for 2016, the budget for the current year, the financial plan for the period 2018-2020 and the activities carried out by the International Basketball Foundation last year were all presented to the Board.
Events and 3x3
The Board reviewed all events held in 2016 and looked ahead to upcoming competitions all the way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Within that context, it highlighted the success of the basketball tournaments in Rio de Janeiro and discussed the potential changes to the competition format for Tokyo with the possible inclusion of 3x3 as part of basketball’s programme at the Olympics.
Basketball Champions League
Finally, following Friday's draw ceremony for the first two phases of the Basketball Champions League Play-Offs, the Board received a presentation on the progress of the truly European club competition that is based on sporting principles and on an innovative 50-50 joint partnership between FIBA and 10 top European leagues.
It confirmed its support for the competition and expressed its satisfaction regarding the standards achieved in such a short time since the inaugural season tipped off in September 2016.