A story claiming that 3-on-3 basketball has been confirmed for the 2016 Olympics is a hoax.
Basketball is typically played 5-on-5, full court, especially in professional settings such as the Olympics.
But the fake story claimed that the International Olympic Committee approved 3-on-3, half court basketball for the next Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“We have spent many months weighing up this proposal, and our final call was to include the appropriated version of basketball into the 2016 Olympic program,” the article quoted the IOC President Thomas Bach as saying.
“This is a trial program and one that asks a lot more of both administrators, hosts, staff and players. However, keeping with the spirit of The Olympic Games, we have decided to include the 3-on-3, half-court variant”
Hinting at the fake nature of the story, the article comes from the Betoota Advocate website.
A number of media outlets, including Deadspin and RealGM, were fooled by the fake story.
The story does have a foundation of truth, though.
Back in 2013, the IOC did rule against including 3-on-3 basketball despite a strong push and official application from FIBA.
In a statement, according to USA Today, the IOC’s executive board said that any “any request from International Federations (IFs) that would result in a higher number of athletes or increased number of medals, thereby adding to the cost and complexity of the Games, would not be considered.
“At a later stage, the IOC will study the quota-neutral requests already made by IFs for either a swap of event or modifications of competition format,” it added.
FIBA hoped to create a popular Olympic event out of the 3-on-3 format. It already hosts a world tour for the format.
“In the U.S. it was an easy way for kids in less-developed areas to play the game,” FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann told The Associated Press in 2010. “At some point in the late ’80s, early ’90s it has been used by big apparel companies to attract kids to basketball and sell shoes.”