In modern basketball, there are two types of rules. They depend on an organization that oversees the championship: FIBA or NBA. Both of them have fans all over the world. Nevertheless, genuine fans of this sports discipline are interested in European, American, and even Australian basketball. Games of any championship can be found at https://scores24.live/en/basketball. The platform features analytics on past, current, and upcoming matches. But if the NBA and FIBA have significant differences in the rules, does it make sense to compare the EuroLeague with the top-rank championship in North America? If these are two different basketball worlds, can you draw parallels between them?
Nowadays, there is a tendency towards convergence of the basic principles of the two leading organizations. This mainly refers to the organizers’ effort to popularize the EuroLeague by following the American traditions. In the Old World, they have realized that the commercial component is an important factor that fuels up the development of basketball. And that they can borrow a page from their overseas colleagues’ book. After all, the NBA rules target primarily the entertainment and visual appeal of matches and profit from advertising.
Teams from 217 national championships on five continents play under the auspices of FIBA. When the rules were developed, two main factors were taken into account:
- equal opportunities for defense and attack;
- visual appeal.
The NBA has a clear bias in favor of the second point. Let’s take a closer look at some of the differences between the American and European rules.
The size of the three-point arc demonstrates a significant difference in the playing style between European basketball clubs and teams across the Atlantic. This was especially true until 2010. At that time, there was a difference of 98 centimeters (3.2 ft) in the distance between this ark and the ring. In the NBA, the distance to the basket was 7.23 meters (23.7 ft), while in FIBA it was set at 6.25 meters (20.5 ft).
These standards had to be revised after the World Basketball Championship in 2010, which is held under FIBA rules. Back then Kevin Durant and Co simply did not notice this distance. It seemed that it was easier for American basketball players to make three-point field goals than to miss.
The same situation had been observed in previous competitions as well. NBA basketball players made long-range shots with ease. And the almost one-meter difference (3.3 ft) in the distance of the three-point arc gave a great advantage to American athletes in international competitions.
Therefore, after 2010, the FIBA committee decided to bring the lining a little closer to the NBA standards and the distance from the arc to the ring was increased by half a meter. At the moment, this distance is 6.75 meters (22.15 ft).
The logic of the FIBA rules is based on increasing the number of three-point shots. In Europe and in international competitions, they account for a third of all attempts to throw the ball into the basket, while in the NBA this figure is around 20-22% on average.
The American variation, due to the wider court (affected by the size of the three-point arc as well) gives more opportunities for outplaying the opponents and coming closer to the ring. By FIBA rules, it is more difficult to outplay the defenders. Due to the fact that their positions are closer to their ring, the density of basketball players is higher and there are fewer free zones for attacks. Therefore, the NBA has a lot more beautiful lines and slam dunks.
Several national basketball associations request to increase the size of the three-point arc. The management of the Spanish Liga ACB takes a stand in favor of increasing the distance for long-distance shots in the FIBA rules by another half a meter (1.64 ft), thus setting the line at a distance of 7.25 meters (23.79 ft), thereby surpassing even the NBA dimensions by 2 cm. All of the above is with the aim to popularize European basketball
But the international committee is unlikely to take such a step because by increasing the radius of the three-point arc, the size of the basketball court will have to be revised. First of all, the width will be affected.
In 2010, changes in the FIBA rules also affected the three-second zone. Its parameters were also brought closer to the NBA standards. Previously, this zone used to be in the shape of a trapezoid, but now it is rectangular, just as in North America.
This is done to facilitate the play of the man in the middle. In modern basketball, there are fewer and fewer basketball players with extraordinary physiques like Shaquille O’Neal who could push their way back to the hoop and shoot from above.
According to the new rules, classic fives can come closer to the opponent’s basket. Defending basketball players have to defend themselves more energetically, which turns the game into a more contact type. This certainly makes basketball more entertaining.
Currently, there are significant differences between the NBA and FIBA rules. This is even despite the fact that European basketball is still steadily moving towards American standards, although this movement is rather slow.
The differences in court sizes and their layout result in completely different playing styles. The NBA targets entertainment, while FIBA follows the principles that all participants should be provided with equal conditions for playing.
It is absolutely clear that no one will change the time of the quarters (at least in the coming years). All championships and schedules are designed based on this very factor. In America, the playing time is longer, because the longer the viewer watches what is happening on the court, the more advertising he will see. And the commercial component is one of the NBA priorities.
The same situation is with timeouts. In Europe, they focus on minimizing the chances of delaying the game, while in the NBA there are mandatory advertising breaks.
When it comes to the layout and size of courts, FIBA is gradually changing the lines of certain gaming zones to match the standards of its overseas partners. But it is quite unlikely to see any noticeable adjustments in the near future. A significant change in the size of even one three-point arc only will entail the need to change the lines of the basketball court and increase it.