Paris 2024 Olympics: everything you need to know about basketball, its history, its rules, its athletes

Published by Cécile de Sortiraparis · Photos by Cécile de Sortiraparis · Published on February 9th, 2024 at 03:21 p.m.
Fans of the orange ball are in for a treat: two basketball events are being organized at the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Here's everything you need to know about the sport before enjoying the games, this summer, in Paris.

The sport's popularity in France continues to climb, so we're expecting the stands for the basketball events during the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games to be on fire! Basketball fans will be at theAccor Arena in Bercy from July 27 to August 10 for the basketball tournaments, from July 30 to August 5 at the Concorde for the 3x3 basketball events, and from August 29 to September 8 at Bercy for wheelchair basketball.

Basketball was invented in 1891 by an American school sports teacher who wanted to find an indoor sport to keep his pupils active during the winter. The sport soon became popular. Basketball arrived in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century: American military troops helped introduce the new sport to the old continent during the First World War.

The first international competitions were organized in the 1920s, and basketball was introduced at the 1904 Olympic Games. However, this ball sport was not contested at the Olympic Games until 1936. Women's tournaments were not included in the Olympic Games until 1976.

The rules of the game

Basketball is played on a rectangular court, with two baskets at each end, located 3.05 meters above the ground. Two teams of five players compete in four ten-minute quarters: the aim is to score as many baskets as possible.

3x3 basketball is a more urban variant of the game, which has made its debut at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, following its success at the Youth Games. In this discipline, there is onlyone basket: teams take it in turns to defend the basket according to who has the ball. The match lasts 10 minutes: the team that has scored 21 points, or is in the lead at the end of the ten minutes, wins.

Wheelchair basketball is played according to the same rules as 5x5 basketball. Athletes have motor disabilities (paraplegia, tetraplegia, amputation, etc.). Wheelchair basketball originated in the aftermath of the Second World War, as a rehabilitation activity for soldiers wounded during the war.

Historically, the United States has dominated the competition by far: the men's teams have won gold at every edition except 1972, 1980, 1988 and 2004, and the women have missed out on gold only once since 1984. Even so, France has put up a valiant fight against the American colossus, and has reached the second step of the podium three times since 1936. In the overall ranking, however, the Russian and Serbian teams remain the strongest.

The medal records are also largely held by the Americans: two women, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, each hold five gold medals. They are followed by Teresa Edwards, Lisa Leslie and Sylvia Fowles with four gold medals, and Carmelo Anthony with three.

And what about the French? The French are automatically qualified for the tournament, which is the privilege of the host country. Now they have to prove that they deserve this chance. The French women's team has already demonstrated its strength at the 2023 international competitions. The men, on the other hand, still have some work to do: their journey to the World Cup in August 2023 was brought to a swift halt by Latvia.

Paris Games Week 2023 - basket 3x3Paris Games Week 2023 - basket 3x3Paris Games Week 2023 - basket 3x3Paris Games Week 2023 - basket 3x3 Where to play basketball in Paris: indoor and outdoor courts to have fun and let off steam
Are you a basketball fan who wants to improve your dribbling skills or challenge your friends on the court? Here's a guide to indoor halls and outdoor courts where you can play basketball in and around Paris. [Read more]

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From July 27th, 2024 to August 10th, 2024



    8 Boulevard de Bercy
    75012 Paris 12

    Metro line 6 or 14 "Bercy" station

    Official website

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