Beach Basketball?

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I read an article yesterday that there is a considerable effort underway, led by the international basketball federation, to have 3 v 3 basketball included as an Olympic sport.  According to the article, the reasoning behind the move is that “three-on-three would allow more countries to experience the Olympics and help FIBA expand basketball’s global popularity”.  I think we can put this down directly to the ‘Beach Volleyball Effect’.   The introduction of beach volleyball was intended to introduce the sport to more and different spectators. However, according to the ‘Law of Unintended Consequences’ it not only achieved its stated aim, but also broadened the reach of high performance volleyball.  Suddenly, countries without enough resources or depth of talent to compete for medals in indoor volleyball were able to become world leaders in beach volleyball.  The medal lists confirm that.  Since beach volleyball was introduced into the Olympics in 1996, nine countries have won indoor medals and nine countries have won beach medals, but overall fifteen different countries have won medals.  Not only did spectator interest in the sport increase, but also high performance funding with those increases drawing from previously untapped areas.  And it is that win/win scenario that basketball has surely noticed and wants to emulate for itself.

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