It’s FIBA-Week here on Once a day I’ll publish an article on the FIBA Championships 2010, which are held in Turkey this year. I hope you enjoy!

FIBA, or International Basketball Federation, owes its name to original the French acronym of Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur. Although the word “Amateur” was subsequently omitted from its current official name, the acronym was still retained due to the significance and relevance of the first two letters from the word “basketball”. It is an association which regulates international basketball competitions and is made up of participating members of national organizations from all over the globe.

FIBA is to basketball what FIFA is to soccer. It goes hand-in-hand; organization and sport. The body is responsible for every aspect pertaining to the sport of basketball. Among others, it is responsible for developing and introducing new rules in addition to the pre-existing ones, appointing referees and match officials for competitions, determining the equipment to be used, regulates athletes’ trans-international transfers and just about every aspect and issue concerning the basketball sport.

Since its formation in the year of 1932 in Geneva with 8 original founding members (Italy, Czechoslovakia, Argentina, Greece, Romania, Portugal, Latvia and Switzerland), the federation has gone on to grow from strength to strength with 214 countries from 5 zones (Americas Europe, Oceania, Africa and Asia) to become a major force to be reckoned with in the International sporting industry.

Among one of the most important contribution and role of FIBA is the organization of International competitions. These include the World Championships for men, introduced in 1950 and the said competition for women in 1953. The World Championships are major competitions for basketball and is held every four years. It takes place in-between the Olympics. The 2010 World Championships, to be held in Turkey is a highly anticipated event with competition becoming increasingly tougher.

In addition to the World Championships, FIBA has also introduced many other competitions such as the 12-team U-17 World Championships. From here, it can be observed that FIBA pays a strong emphasize upon skill development at all different levels.

Over the years, FIBA has been known to introduce many new changes and development for the sport. A stellar example of this would be the ruling which allowed full-time professionals to be involved in the Olympics. This paved the way for those playing in the NBA and other major leagues in the world to represent their respective countries in the Olympics. Looking back, it has indeed came a long way since the game was first introduced in the Olympics. After all, it was barely into its 4th year when it made its first appearance in Olympics.

Into its 78th anniversary this June 2010, FIBA is a still but a fairly young association comparatively. Still, with the sport being among one of the most popular in the world today and actively featured in major sporting events and competitions, the sport is appealing to a wider audience who also happen to come from an increasingly younger age group.

FIBA has done exceptionally well in its role as the International governing body of the basketball sport. It will continue to contribute and make developments to ensure the sport ranks high among the most popular sports in the world today and the near future.

Picture credit: Digia ServiceCreative Commons Attribution