Hypothetical Olympic 3-on-3 basketball rules

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As rumors persist that FIBA will push for 3-on-3 basketball as soon as 2016 it’s probably time to completely overhype this event before having our hopes and dreams dashed as we return to the boredom that is Team USA sleepwalking to gold nearly every four years. So here’s how we’d like to see our new favorite, albeit still non-existent, Olympics event played out in Rio.

Teams – Sure, basketball is a U.S. sport that America loves winning to prove their international superiority, but we’re thinking a 32-team tournament that limits each country to one squad would allow more countries to participate and help grow the sport. Also, the U.S. tournament to represent the States, held just after the Finals in June, would arguably be the highlight of every NBA fan’s year.

Rosters – Four man rosters chosen by the players themselves. Imagine the animosity created by Kevin Durant not returning LeBron’s phone call because the Oklahoma City star has already teamed up Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. This would cause the “eff you” attitude to go through the roof in strong basketball countries like Spain, France, and the U.S., which nearly always makes for better competition.

Scoring / rules – Quick rundown: best of three games, each to 21, ones and twos, win by two, loser’s ball. If that didn’t make sense, consult a friend or just move on. We’d like to think the pros could handle calling their own fouls, out-of-bounds, and the like, but that’s probably asking too much. There would need to be a referee just so players don’t eventually kill one another, and each player gets three fouls per game.

Court size / location – This is a tough decision: traditional half courts with take-backs or shrunk-down full courts? Half is the old school pure game, but full would create more opportunities for breakaways and dunks, would spread the floor, and would be more exciting in the long run. Regardless, the games should be played outside in some historic or picturesque location, ala beach volleyball at London’s Horse Guards Parade.

Attire / equipment – We’ve sexualized women’s beach volleyball by demanding bikinis since the sport’s inception in 1996, so it’s probably fair to tip our cap to the ladies and make the men’s game shirts vs. skins, right? As for the game ball, this is the one piece of American iconography we’re forcing on the world: we’re bringing back the old ABA ball. If you don’t like it, feel free to change our minds by winning gold.

Those are our rules, and we’re open to yours. What do you have for us, world?

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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