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The Olympic Basketball Tournament

2016 Olympic Games

2016 Olympics LogoThe focus for basketball at the Olympics now turns to the qualification process for the 2016 Games.

These games are being held in Rio and basketball is set to be held in Arena 1 do Centro Olímpico de Treinamento in Rio de Janeiro. It has been announced that Hall 1 in the venue, which has a 16,000 capacity, will host the Olympic basketball games.

2016 Olympic Basketball Betting Guide

2016 Women’s Olympic Basketball Tournament

Basketball at the Summer Olympics

Olympic LogoThe history of basketball at the Summer Olympics is an illustrious and lengthy one. Basketball was first enjoyed at the 1904 Olympics, where it was played as a demonstration support. However, the first proper appearance of basketball at the Olympics came in 1936. This was when Men’s Basketball made its debut and it has been on the Olympic roster ever since. Women’s Basketball had to wait until 1976 to make its debut but it has featured in every Olympics since then.

After the 2012 Olympics in London, the United States hold the record of being the most successful basketball nation at the Games. The men’s team have participated in 17 tournaments and they have triumphed in 14 of them. This includes a run of seven successive titles from the first basketball event in 1936 all the way though to 1968. The men’s team have picked up a medal in every basketball tournament with one silver and two bronze medals for the events that they did not win.

USA Basketball LogoThe US female basketball team has been just as successful, winning 7 of the 9 tournaments they have entered. The US women’s team is currently on a winning streak of five tournaments. This run began back in 1996 and reached number five in London in 2012. The women’s team have picked up a medal in every basketball tournament with one silver and one bronze for the two times that they have not won the tournament.

Qualification

With respect to the basketball event at the Olympics, both the men’s and women’s tournaments feature 12 of the top basketball teams from around the world. While the qualification process for both genders is similar, there are some differences. However, the reigning world champion in both the male and female discipline is qualified automatically.

Men’s Qualification

In addition to the reigning world champion and the host nation, 10 teams qualify for the men’s basketball event at the Olympics. 7 of these teams make their way from their regional championships. One team qualifies from Africa, 2 teams qualify from the Americas, one team qualifies from Asia, two teams qualify from Europe and one team qualified from Oceania.

Olympic Basketball Qualification

This leaves a remaining three spaces. These spaces are allocated via a world qualifying tournament where the nations that do not qualify through their own regional route play off to claim the remaining three places.

As an example, the qualification process for the 2012 Men’s Basketball tournament in London panned out as follows:

  • Great Britain qualified as the host country.
  • United States qualified by winning the World Championships, held in Turkey in 2010.
  • Tunisia qualified as African champion.
  • Argentina and Brazil qualified from the Americas. Argentina won the 2011 title, defeating Brazil in the final.
  • China qualified as Asian champion.
  • Spain and France qualified from Europe. Spain won the title with a 10-1 record while France came second with a 9-2 record.
  • Australia qualified as the Oceania champion.

The 2012 Qualifying tournament was held in Venezuela in July with Russia and Lithuania winning their semi-finals to qualify directly for the Olympics. There was no final held at the event but Nigeria won in the 3rd and 4th playoff to also book their passage to the 2012 Games.

Women’s Qualification

In addition to the reigning world champion and the host nation, 10 teams qualify for the women’s basketball event at the Olympics. 5 of these teams make their way from their regional championships. One team qualifies from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

This leaves a remaining five spaces. These spaces are allocated via a world qualifying tournament where the nations that do not qualify through their own regional route play off to claim the remaining five places.

Olympic Womens Basketball - Great Britain vs USA

As an example, the qualification process for the 2012 Women’s Basketball tournament in London panned out as follows:

  • Great Britain qualified as the host country.
  • United States qualified by winning the World Championships, held in the Czech Republic in 2010.
  • Angola qualified as African champion.
  • Brazil qualified from the Americas.
  • China qualified as Asian champion.
  • Russia qualified as European champion.
  • Australia qualified as the Oceania champion.

The 2012 Qualifying tournament was held in Turkey in June and July. The four quarter-final winners, France, Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia all advanced to the Olympics. The losing quarter-finalists continued the tournament with Canada winning the final spot for London 2012.

Group Draws

In both the male and female events, the 12 nations were split into two groups, each group consisting of 6 teams. 2 points are awarded to a winning team, 1 point is awarded to the losing team, 1 point is awarded to a team that loses by default and 0 points are awarded to a team that loses by forfeiture.

A team loses by default if they have less than two players available to play.

A team loses by forfeiture if they are unable to provide 5 players at the beginning of the game or the team’s actions prevent play from resuming.

Olympic Basketball Group Draw

If teams in the group are tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria, in order, are applied:

  • The head to head record
  • Goal average of the games where tied teams played each other
  • Goal average of all games played by a team
  • The points scored by team
  • The drawing of lots

The four teams with the best record at the end of the each group, progressed to a knock-out round, which started at the quarter-final stage. The four winning quart-finalists progressed to the semi-final, the four losing semi-finalists ended their involvement. The two winning semi-finalists progressed to the final and played for gold and silver. The two losing semi-finalists played for bronze.

Group Allocation – Men’s Basketball 2012

In the 2012 Men’s Basketball tournament, the groups were allocated as:

Men’s Basketball 2012
Group A Group B
Argentina Australia
France Brazil
Lithuania China
Nigeria Great Britain
Tunisia Russia
United States Spain

Competition Format

The four teams qualifying from Group A were:

  • United States (A1)
  • France (A2)
  • Argentina (A3)
  • Lithuania (A4)

The four teams qualifying from Group B were:

  • Russia (B1)
  • Brazil (B2)
  • Spain (B3)
  • Australia (B4)

Olympic Mens Basketball - USA Lebron JamesThe format of the knock-out rounds saw the matches prepared in advance. The top half of the draw saw A1 take on B4 and B2 take on A3. This worked out as United States versus Australia and Brazil versus Argentina. The two winning teams faced off in the semi-final, which meant United States took on Argentina.

The bottom half of the draw saw B1 take on A4 and A2 take on B3. This worked out as Russia versus Lithuania and France versus Spain. The two winning teams faced off in the semi-final, which meant that Russia played Spain.

United States and Spain won their semi-finals.

This meant Argentina played Russia for the bronze medal, in a match which Russia won by 81-77.

The gold medal match was won by United States with a score of 107-100.

United States took the gold medal, Spain took the silver medal and Russia took bronze.

Group Allocation – Women’s Basketball 2012

In the 2012 Women’s Basketball tournament, the groups were allocated as:

Women’s Basketball 2012
Group A Group B
Angola Australia
China Brazil
Croatia Canada
Czech Republic France
Turkey Great Britain
United States Russia

Competition Format

The four teams qualifying from Group A were:

  • United States (A1)
  • Turkey (A2)
  • China (A3)
  • Czech Republic (A4)

The four teams qualifying from Group B were:

  • France (B1)
  • Australia (B2)
  • Russia (B3)
  • Canada (B4)

Olympic Womens Basketball - Canada vs AustraliaThe format of the knock-out rounds saw the matches prepared in advance. The top half of the draw saw A1 take on B4 and B2 take on A3. This worked out as United States versus Canada and Australia versus China. The two winning teams faced off in the semi-final, which meant United States took on Australia.

The bottom half of the draw saw B1 take on A4 and A2 take on B3. This worked out as France versus Czech Republic and Turkey versus Russia. The two winning teams faced off in the semi-final, which meant that France played Russia.

United States and France won their semi-finals.

This meant Australia played Russia for the bronze medal, in a match which Australia won by 83-74.

The gold medal match was won by United States with a score of 86-50.

United States took the gold medal, France took the silver medal and Australia took bronze.

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