International Basketball Federation
Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball
Abbreviation FIBA
Motto "We are basketball"
Formation 18 June 1932
Type Sports federation
Region served
213 national federations
Official language
English and French [1]
Secretary General
Patrick Baumann
Horacio Muratore
Key people
Borislav Stanković
George Vassilakopoulos
Manfred Ströher

The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as FIBA, FIBA World, or FIBA International (/ˈfbə/ 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 Basketball 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 215 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, 3x3. The FIBA 3x3 U-18 World Championships were inaugurated in 2011, and the FIBA 3x3 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.


Old FIBA logo.
FIBA divides the world into 5 commissions, each roughly based on a continent.
FIBA in Mies.

The association was founded in Geneva in 1932, two years after the sport was officially recognized by the IOC. Its original name was Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur. Eight nations were founding members: Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland. During the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, the Federation named James Naismith (1861–1939), the founder of basketball, as its Honorary President.

FIBA has organized a World Championship, now known as World Cup, for men since 1950 and a Women's World Championship, now known as the Women's World Cup, since 1953. From 1986 through 2014, both events were held every four years, alternating with the Olympics. As noted above, the men's World Cup will be moved to a new four-year cycle, with tournaments in the year before the Summer Olympics, after 2014.

The Federation headquarters moved to Munich in 1956, then returned to Geneva in 2002. In 1991, it founded the FIBA Hall of Fame; the first induction ceremony was held on 12 September 2007, during EuroBasket 2007. During its 81st anniversary in 2013, FIBA moved into its new headquarters, "The House of Basketball", at Mies. Patrick Baumann is the current Secretary General of FIBA.

From amateur to fully professional NBA status

In April 1989, under then FIBA Secretary General Borislav Stanković, FIBA opened the door to Olympics participation for players from the NBA in the United States, rather than just to players from amateur, semi-professional, or even fully professional basketball leagues, excluding the NBA, as had been the case up until that point in time. Up until that point, even players from some fully registered and licensed professional leagues could qualify to compete at the Olympics, as long as they did not play in the NBA. After making this monumental rules change, the Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball Amateur became the Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball, but it retained FIBA as an abbreviation.

The first times that current NBA players, that had also already played in an official regular season NBA game, were allowed to compete at the three major men's international national team basketball competitions (FIBA EuroBasket, FIBA World Cup, and the Summer Olympic Games) were the 1990 FIBA World Championship (now called FIBA World Cup), where only non-American NBA players were allowed to play, the 1991 FIBA EuroBasket, and the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. The 1994 FIBA World Championship was the first time that the FIBA World Cup allowed current American NBA players that had already played in an official NBA regular season game to play. FIBA considers then that the FIBA EuroBasket became officially a fully professional tournament in 1991, and the same with the Olympics in 1992, and the FIBA World Cup in 1994. All the earlier editions of those tournaments are counted under the "amateur" status.


Secretaries General


World Champions

Tournament FIBA World Cup Year Olympics Year
Men  United States (5) 2014  United States (15) 2016
Women  United States (9) 2014  United States (8) 2016
U-19 Men  United States (6) 2015  Lithuania (1) 2014
U-19 Women  United States (7) 2015  United States (1) 2014
U-17 Men  United States (4) 2016 N/A
U-17 Women  Australia (1) 2016 N/A

Continental Champions

Tournament FIBA Africa Year FIBA Americas Year FIBA Asia Year FIBA Europe Year FIBA Oceania Year
Men  Nigeria (1) 2015  Venezuela (1) 2015  China (16) 2015  Spain (3) 2015  Australia (19) 2015
Women  Senegal (11) 2015  Canada (2) 2015  Japan (3) 2015  Serbia (1) 2015  Australia (15) 2015
U-19 Men  Angola (4) 2016  United States (8) 2016  Iran (3) 2016  Greece (2) 2015  Australia (5) 2014
U-19 Women  Mali (6) 2016  United States (9) 2016  China (15) 2016  France (2) 2016  Australia (6) 2014
U-17 Men  Egypt (3) 2015  United States (4) 2015  South Korea (1) 2015  Spain (4) 2016  Australia (4) 2015
U-17 Women  Mali (4) 2015  Canada (1) 2015  China (3) 2015  Spain (10) 2016  Australia (4) 2015

3x3 World Champions

Tournament FIBA World Championships Year
Men  Serbia (2) 2016
Women  Czech Republic (1) 2016
U-18 Men  Qatar (1) 2016
U-18 Women  France (2) 2016

FIBA World rankings

Further information: FIBA World Rankings



  1. 2014 General Statutes of FIBA, Article 47.1
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